A burning sensation after sex is a type of dyspareunia, which is also known as painful sex. Someone may typically experience this due to a lack of lubrication, or with severe friction. However, other causes may require medical attention.
It is more prevalent in females than in males, and is common after menopause and in the postpartum period. Many medical conditions can trigger it, while doctors are not always able to find a direct cause.
In this article, we discuss the causes of burning after sex, preventative measures, and when to see a doctor.
Possible causes of burning after sex
Switching positions, adding more lubrication, and communication may help ease pain during and after sex.
People of all sexes and genders can experience pain after sex. There are several reasons why it can develop. Some of the most common include:
Anatomical differences: The shape of a partner’s genitals could irritate someone’s skin, and cause a burning sensation.
Allergies and skin irritation: Allergies to latex, lubricants, lotions, and perfumes may irritate the genitals. Friction may also be a factor, especially when there is not enough lubrication.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Certain STIs, such as gonorrhea or trichomoniasis, may cause burning during or after intercourse.
Lack of lubrication: When there is inadequate lubrication, sex can be painful for either partner. The pain tends to be worse in the female and may cause burning after sex.
Psychological and relationship factors: Some people experience pain during or after sex, because of anxiety or distress about sex, the relationship, or past sexual experiences. Sometimes psychological stress may cause a person to unconsciously tense up, and make sex uncomfortable.
Rough sex: Rough sex, especially without enough lubrication, can irritate the skin.
Sexual position: Some positions may irritate the skin or cause pain. Others may intensify the pain of other conditions. For example, positions that allow deep penetration that stimulates the cervix can be painful. In a female who has cervicitis, the pain may be worse after sex.
Infections: Various infections can cause burning or pain. These include prostatitis in males, urinary tract infections, urethritis, or yeast infections that can occur in both males and females. Females may also experience bacterial vaginosis.