What Causes Burning After Sex?

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Sex should be pleasurable, enjoyable, and fun.

But it’s not always that simple.

Certain people experience a strong sensation of heat, rendering being intimate incredibly strenuous.

Sometimes, the genital area can experience a stinging or burning sensation after being intimate.

The feeling of uneasiness may cause you to speculate on the most negative outcomes.

It is undeniable that there is a multitude of potential factors that could potentially lead to burning sensations in both the penis and vagina following sexual intercourse.

And most of them are harmless.

We created a practical guidebook to quench your curiosity and give you peace of mind regarding pain following intercourse, with recommendations on how to alleviate the discomfort.

What Is Burning After Sex?

Suffering from a burning sensation after sexual intercourse is a condition known as dyspareunia. Individuals might experience discomfort in their genitalia when engaging in intercourse before or after the act. The uncomfortable discomfort and searing sensation can have a severe effect on a person’s mental and physical well-being, as well as their overall quality of life.

It has been estimated that 3-18% of people across the world will experience dyspareunia as of the year 2022. Approximately 10-28% of people are affected by this. This condition has different categories, such as:

  • Superficial or deep – Superficial dyspareunia only affects the entrance of the vagina. In men, this pain can develop in the early or all phases of sexual contact. Deep dyspareunia happens due to deeper penetration.
  • Primary or secondary – With primary dyspareunia, the pain starts at the beginning of the sex. Whereas with secondary dyspareunia, the aches start shortly after having painless intercourse.

Individuals who experience discomfort after sexual intercourse and burning sensations on the skin may also have issues with their sexual performance. This includes a lack of arousal or sexual desire.

This is entirely normal, considering the discomfort and aches. However, it can have a negative impact on your intimate or affectionate partnerships.


The burning after sex can come from rough sex, especially without enough lubrication. It could also be an issue with the structure or the mental state.

If you have painful sex, you can feel:

  • Aching or burning pain
  • Pain with each penetration (even with tampon use)
  • Pain just at the sexual entry
  • Throbbing or stabbing pain

This is a specific kind of discomfort that can affect either a single area or the entire genital area. The sensation experienced is more than just warm, and often includes pains such as throbbing or burning.

A study looked into how long and what effects pain had after or during intercourse.

The investigations indicated that post-coital ache is more widespread than hurt during entry. During penetration, the pain lasted about a minute. Patients described it as bursting, incisive, or sharp pain.

In contrast, pain after sex lasted around 2 hours. Those affected described it as smarting or burning pain. Roughly 70% of women had post-coital pain during urination.

11 Causes in Men

There are several explanations for why one may experience burning sensations after intercourse. In men, some of these causes include:

Insufficient lubrication

An inadequate amount of lubrication during intercourse, combined with vigorous sexual activity, can lead to tears in the foreskin. It may not be apparent immediately, but it can cause distress.


People want to know about burns when you ejaculate. An enlargement of the prostate may result in prickly sensations after or during intercourse. Some guys might experience a burning sensation when urinating or when having an orgasm.

Penis irritation

Particular types of fungal sicknesses, which are transmittable through sexual activity, psoriasis, or dermatitis, can inflame the male organ. Skin irritation can cause burning sensations.

Allergic reaction

Males may experience a rash, irritation, or itching due to an allergic response. Certain substances found in perfumes, lotions, and soaps could lead to an adverse response.

Men could also be sensitive to latex condoms. Latex allergies can trigger burning sensations.

Foreskin inflammation

Patients may have itching and burning sensations due to an inflammation of the foreskin. They can also develop swelling, tenderness, and discoloration. All of these factors can affect their sex life.

Peyronie disease

This illness is caused by an accumulation of scar tissue within the male genitalia. This scarring causes the organ to bend in an upwards or sideways direction when aroused. Having sex can cause the penis to be achy following or during intercourse.

Genital warts or herpes

In males, warts may be located on the stem or end of the penis, in the area of the anus, or on the scrotal sac. They can cause itching, discomfort, and aches. Herpes can also cause itching and pain.

Trauma to the penis

Any sort of damaged, from a break to a minor hurt, may lead to a traumatic experience for the penis. An accumulation of blood beneath the surface of the skin might lead to bruising or swelling of the penis. This can lead to burning sensations.

Uncomfortable sexual position

When experimenting with intimate positions, it is vital to be attentive and prevent any harm to the penis. Certain sexual roles can be very uncomfortable or worsen the pain, especially if there is an injured penis.


Males with a swollen urethra may experience discomfort during masturbation and sexual activity. There is also pain with the passing of urine.

Psychological factors

An individual’s psychological state can cause discomfort or a burning sensation during or after sexual activity. Emotional distress, a history of sexual abuse, and issues between partners can trigger an individual to involuntarily become tense and decrease sexual pleasure.

9 Causes in Women

The vaginal burning sensation can be very uncomfortable. The effects will differ depending on the source of the issue.

Below are some of the commonest reasons why female patients may experience burning sensations after intercourse.

It could be from your sex toys.

It is evident that we suggest utilizing sex toys for various enjoyable activities—whether that be activities with a partner or alone. If you are noticing a painful or stinging sensation, it could be coming from your buzzing electronic device.

One reason why it could be irritating is the type of materials used in the construction of the vibrator. Dr. Jodie Horton, a Love Wellness advisor and gynecologist emphasizes that one should carefully read the specifications prior to purchasing sex toys as they are constructed with a range of different materials. This is especially important if you’re allergic to anything. It is advisable to choose a toy that does not have latex, dangerous phthalates, and is not absorbent.

The second explanation is that you are not cleaning your intimate objects properly. Dr. Horton emphasizes that it is absolutely crucial to sanitize your sex toy after every use by utilizing a fragrance-free soap and warm water. (Emphasis on the fragrance-free soap). This will prevent bacteria from spreading which may result in vaginal irritation and an uncomfortable burning sensation after sexual intercourse.

It could be from your laundry detergent.

Dr. Felice Gersh of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine has delineated that certain components of laundry detergents may be the genesis of vaginal burning. The potential to cause skin irritation or an allergic response exists with the usage of dyes, fragrances, preservatives, surfactants, enzymes, parabens, solvents, emulsifiers, and other chemicals. Dr. Gersh points out that the chemicals in detergents regularly provoke skin burning and rashes.

The most effective way to figure out if your laundry detergent may be causing your vaginal burning is to stop using it immediately and apply a calming cream, like aloe gel or shea butter, to your vulva. Dr. Gersh advises observing if the discomfort in the vagina reduces. You could give another detergent a try that has fewer colors and aromas. In three days, if the symptoms have not gone away, it is recommended to see a doctor, according to Dr. Gersh.

It could be your underwear.

Dr. Gersh further states that wearing thongs can cause discomfort around the entrance of the vagina, leading to redness and swelling. The experience of chronic inflammation is not only unpleasant, but it may additionally result in the proliferation of bacteria which can cause infections in the vagina or bladder. This is a key factor in why people sometimes experience a burning sensation in the vagina after sexual activity. The vicinity near the entrance to your vagina is right next to your anus, so bacteria that comes from feces can be transferred due to any movement of the thong from your anus to your vagina, raising the probability of infection.

It could be stress-related

Stress can have an effect on numerous different physiological operations, including the release of hormones, which may lead to changes in the amount of natural vaginal lubricant produced. When engaging in sexual activity without adequate lubrication, the lack of moisture can lead to inflammation and discomfort in the vaginal area. Apply lubricant and prolong the foreplay for the greatest amount of pleasure.

It may originate from a buildup of scar tissue that has been brought about by a painful experience such as childbirth, surgery, or a wound.

In “The Vagina Bible”, Dr. Jen Gunter discusses how an episiotomy, tear, or other problems related to childbirth can lead to scarring around the vagina, which can cause agony as well as the potential requirement for surgery to bring about a solution. She states that the scar tissue is delicate, and engaging in sexual intercourse is likely to damage the vulnerable skin. She notes that the agony is often described as if it were a burning feeling. Be certain that if you have never gone through surgery or given birth naturally, this is probably not an issue.

It could be from your tampons.

Janelle Luk, MD, the medical director and founder of Generation Next Fertility, states that yes, there could be several explanations for why tampon application could lead to vaginal soreness or irritation. If you don’t put the tampon in properly or make sure it’s gone in far enough, you might feel a sting. If you have a naturally lower level of vaginal moisture than most people, it could make inserting a tampon more uncomfortable.

It could be from the products you’re using.

Alyssa Dweck, MD, an OB/GYN, claims that products are the main source of lady parts burning during or after sex. This phrase is repeated often: Never insert any kind of soap into your vagina!

Dr. Dweck states that the interior of the vagina is equipped with modifications to maintain an even pH level. You can cleanse the area around your vagina, namely your vulva, using a warm and gentle cleansing agent such as an unscented Dove soap bar. You should not use any soaps which contain strong dyes or fragrances. If you find yourself feeling the need to deeply clean your vagina due to an odor that is not normal for you, Dr. Dweck suggests that you speak to your doctor in order to discover the source of the issue instead of using perfumes in an attempt to conceal it.

It could be from grooming.

Whatever you employ to get rid of pubic hair, if that is something you do, can lead to discomfort as well. Although hair is taken off the vulva, not inside the actual vagina, any burning or irritation in that area is extremely painful, particularly when having intercourse. Razor burn can cause the skin to become sore and inflamed, which can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse. If this is a problem you have difficulty overcoming, try cutting hair by going along with the grain of the strands – not against it. Be certain to clean your razor regularly to prevent it from getting blocked with shaving foam and hair, leading to the dimming of the blades. After you shave, using petroleum-based moisturizers such as Vaseline should help prevent razor bumps.

It could be irritation from condoms or lubricants.

Certain condoms or lubricants may induce irritation and discomfort in some people. Condoms and lubricants advertised as having a “fire and ice” sensation are likely to cause burning. Dr. Leah Millheiser, an obstetrician-gynecologist, suggests avoiding lubricants with glycerin if you have delicate skin. Fortunately, there is an abundance of lube products available, and your doctor can advise you on one with a positive review in regards to not causing aggravation in the female genital area. When it comes to condoms, there is a multitude of options, such as latex, non-latex, and even sheepskin. However, Dr. Dweck indicates that even those without allergies can have adverse reactions to latex, so it is encouraged that diversifying in materials is not something to be scared of. For what it’s worth, using flavored or scented condoms may disturb your vaginal pH level, and those that have a spermicide can cause minor irritations in the vagina, which can lead to a sensation of burning. In other words, don’t just stick to one brand. Try ’em all out!

What Are the Complications of Burning After Sex?

If you do not seek medical attention for the searing sensation experienced during intercourse, the fear of the pain and the worry it causes can lead to anxiety. This anxiousness can interfere with your intimate relationships.

Without being treated, dyspareunia has the potential to cause damage to the tissue in the vagina and penis, leading to tearing and swelling. So, it is important to talk to a specialist.

Complications will vary depending on what’s causing the problem. An untreated UTI can lead to kidney damage, reduced size of the urethra, and recurrent infections, for example.

When Should You See a Doctor for Burning After Sex?

If the sensation of burning occurs during only one intimate encounter, then lubrication and more time spent on foreplay may help provide relief.

It would be wise to make an appointment at a sexual health clinic if there is an infectious or allergy-related root for the problem.

Consult with an expert if the discomfort is getting to be too much or continuing to worsen. A gynecologist specializes in treating female reproductive tract problems. If you are experiencing issues with your penis, you can begin by consulting your primary care physician. They can then refer you to a urologist.


Sex shouldn’t hurt. It should be enjoyable and pleasurable for both sides. In certain situations, it is possible for both genders to feel heat, agony, and uneasiness after sexual activity.

In order to determine an appropriate course of action, it’s essential to identify the source. A variety of factors can be the source of the burning sensation either in the penis or the vagina following sexual activity. These problems may be due to insufficient lubrication, allergies, and other issues. Consult with a physician if you find that the pain and burning sensations are stopping you from having an enjoyable sexual experience.


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