Heather Corinna replies:
I've been having sex for about a year now and im fine till it comes around the time of my period. I'm fine just before my period, it's just after. If I try to have sex after my period it really hurts and I don't understand why. People have said maybe it's because you've bled dry? But I don't feel dry and I can still feel fully aroused but still experience the pain. Normally if I can go through with it it gets better but really stings after. I'ts not so much deep inside me (the stinging pain) its just slightly inside me. Could this have somthing to do with tampons? Normally I wait a week and its back to normal: please help.
Well, it is pretty normal for women to be a bit drier just after menstruation, and tampons also rob you of even more vaginal moisture. So, while you may be highly aroused, that doesn't always mean plenty of natrual lubrication.
So, if you aren't using lubricant with the sex that you're having, that's the very first thing I'd suggest you try. Really, lube is a great addition anytime, and if you ask pretty much anyone who has had sex using a lubricant and sex without, they're going to tell you that with-lube is usually a million times better.
Too, if you want to see if it's tampons that are causing the trouble, in whole (unlikely) or in part (more likely), then next cycle, why not try switching to pads or a menstrual cup and see what happens? Either of those options are friendlier to your body, anyway.
You might also consider, especially if that doesn't help, just having other sorts of sex besides vaginal entry during that time that vaginal entry doesn't feel good. It may just be that that particular hormonal phase isn't one where you are getting aroused enough for things to feel good, or that it's hurt enough times that your body is starting to associate pain with intercourse at that time. But since intercourse isn't a requirement (and if it is, it sure shouldn't be!), and there are loads of other satisfying sexual activities for men and women alike, there's no sense in doing something, at any time, that doesn't feel good. No kind of sex should be something any of us "go through with." It should always be a pleasure and a joy for both partners, not a chore.
By all means, do be sure you're current with your yearly sexual health exams and STI screenings, something you need to do once a year even if you're not having any problems at all. So, if you haven't started that habit yet, now might be a great time to do so, since this is something you could get a second opinion from your doctor on while also being sure your sexual and reproductive health is on the up-and-up.
Here is some additonal information for you on pain during intercourse: From OW! to WOW! Demystifying Painful Intercourse.