If you experience severe pain in your pelvic area during sex or extreme menstrual cramps, it could signal endometriosis, a common disorder of the female reproductive system in which the endometrial cells become attached to tissues surrounding the uterus, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries or the large or small intestines. This can cause bleeding, intense cramping and pain, and can affect a woman’s fertility.

A recommended course of treatment for endometriosis is taking birth control pills, which suppress the symptoms. If there is no improvement after taking medication, laparoscopic surgery is available.

Other causes of dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, include infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Nearly two out of every three women will experience dyspareunia in their lives, and it is recommended that she visit her OB-GYN.