"I went to a GP after four years of painful sex. I left feeling utterly humiliated."

I’ve been experiencing painful sex since I lost my virginity to my long-term boyfriend almost four years ago. It’s been at varying levels.

At first I put it down to “this is what losing your virginity feels like.” Makes sense.

A few times later? Still getting used to it.

Hundreds of times later? Maybe this is just what it is meant to feel like.

How to have better sex. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

I’m 18 years old and up until now, I’ve thought that young women and my friendship circle in particular, were strong, sexually-liberated women. Sure, we talk about sex, but we don’t talk about the discomfort or that it’s not quite what we expected it to be. What’s sexy about that?

So I went on, pretending sex was great despite coming out feeling battered, bruised, and evermore disinterested in my wonderful boyfriend.

It was only when I saw a psychologist that I received any indication something worse may be going on. The shock on her face threw me off. I found myself explaining, “oh no, it’s not excruciating, just uncomfortable at times…” but it was enough to encourage me to see a doctor.

Now taking this step was by no means easy. Not only did I cringe at the thought of anything going near my vagina, I was really not looking forward to spilling my sex problems to a GP. “It’s for the best,” I reminded myself, before taking a step into my GP for the follow-up appointment.


My usual doctor was away, so I was sent to a different male doctor to receive my test results and also discuss a change of birth control in the hopes of fixing my mood.

I sat down in the chair and began with this issue, hoping to ease into the session.

“Why would you want to change birth control?” he asked bluntly.

“Uh, as I was saying I just think it’s changing my mood and I thought it might help if I swapped…” I tried to explain.

“No no no, that’s bullshit. I don’t know who’s telling you that. Birth control is good for one thing and that’s preventing pregnancy. You need to diet and exercise if you want to change your mood. It’s got nothing to do with your birth control. Changing your dosage will increase your risk of blood clots (fair call), breast cancer – I think, (less of a fair call) and people on birth control have a higher risk of getting STI’s – but maybe that’s just because they think they can sleep around with anyone,” he laughed… at me, not with me.

At this point, I was pretty taken aback. I laughed along politely, not interested in explaining to him that I’ve only ever had sex with one person, who was also a virgin. In fact, I was happy to stay quiet if it meant my appointment would be done quicker.

“Now what else… Ah yes, you’re getting your test results for down there,” he said, pointing at his crotch.

“…Well, the tests have come back negative… but are you sure you did it right?”

“I peed in a cup! How could I do it wrong?” I thought, but instead of this I mustered up a simple: “I think so? She gave me a cup and asked me to pee in it. And I did?”

“Well no, you didn’t do it right then. You should have waited overnight and done it first thing in the morning. I’m gonna give you another one to try again,” he replied.


My original doctor wasn’t too concerned with the tests, telling me they were just common practice and that she believed I had endometriosis. So I asked what the tests were for.

“Chlamydia and gonorrhea,” he said.

Okay, so I do have to explain it then.

“I’ve only been sexually active with one person who was also a virgin.”

“Hmmm,” he glared at me as if I was lying, “So you don’t think you need to do it again?”

“Um I don’t know… I guess not?” I said.

“Okay then. Well then let me tell you what I think the issue is…” he started.

“His penis is too large and your hole -”  he paused making a tiny hole using his hand, “is too small.”

Increased lubrication, he told me – but not in so few words. He explained that since I was a virgin before having sex with my boyfriend, my hymen probably hadn’t broken.

No need to check – not that I wanted him to, he was fairly certain this was the problem, and I’m fairly certain that it’s not.

When all was said and done, I stood up and left grumbling to myself whilst sending a Snapchat off to my friends about the uncomfortable experience.

Then, I started crying. I have been having this issue for years and hadn’t gone to a doctor for fear of being treated like this. This wasn’t a broken arm. This was not only physically painful, but severely damaging my mental health and relationship.

I’m 18. I’m still trying to work everything out. But for f**k’s sake, I get enough shame from the world, I don’t need to hear it from a doctor.