Pain during sexual intercourse isn't a problem limited to women, as many men have pain during sex as well. Experiencing this problem may not only affect sexual performance but sexual pleasure also.

It can even have lasting psychological effects, such as fear of penetration, leading to impotence. Not surprisingly, equating pain with intercourse can put a strain on relationships.

But men don't have to suffer in silence if they have pain during sex. There are several possible causes of pain during intercourse. Review the reasons below to see if they describe your medical condition or discuss these potential causes with your doctor if you're not sure what the source of your pain is.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Pain can arise because of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as herpes or untreated gonorrhea, which can cause burning and itching, as well as sores, bumps, or blisters on the penis or anus.

If you have reason to believe that you've been exposed to an STI, visit your physician or a clinic to get tested. While these infections carry a stigma, it is vital for your health and wellbeing that you get tested.

The sooner you know if you're infected, the sooner you can get treatment and potentially counteract the effects of these infections.

Foreskin Problems

An overly tight foreskin (phimosis), or damage to the foreskin because of tearing, friction or inflammation, can all lead to pain. Consult your physician about measures that can be taken to reduce foreskin problems.

Deformities of the Penis

Conditions such as hypospadias, Peyronie's disease, or scar tissue from previous traumas or infections can be a cause of painful intercourse. Growths (benign or cancerous), as well as urinary tract stones, could also be a factor.

A urologist (in the case of stones) or another medical professional (for growths or other problems) may be able to help.


This is a condition where a non-sexual and often painful and sustained erection occurs.


Some men may experience an allergic reaction to vaginal fluids or the chemicals found in various forms of contraception.A medical professional can help determine if you're allergic to latex or other forms of contraception.


The penis can become very sensitive after orgasm and ejaculation, which can make continued intercourse painful.6 This may mean you need to limit how many times you have intercourse with your partner on a given day. Even without intercourse, you can explore other ways to pleasure your partner or be intimate with your mate.

Skin Disorders

Non-allergic skin disorders such as Zoon's balanitis, erosive lichen planus, lichen sclerosis, and penile cancer may cause pain with intercourse.

When to See Your Doctor

If you're experiencing pain during intercourse, you should be checked out by a medical practitioner. Do not continue attempting intercourse until you have received treatment. This is especially important if the cause of pain is due to infection, which you can inadvertently spread to your mate.

A Word From Verywell

While it may be embarrassing to bring this issue up with your doctor, rest assured that your doctor is a professional and has heard about all sorts of intimate problems patients have. If you don't feel comfortable with a particular practitioner, try to find a physician with whom you'll feel more comfortable discussing this sensitive information.