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Painful Sex: Care Instructions


Painful sex can include pain before, during, or after sex. It can be caused by many things, such as an injury, an infection, or a growth on the genitals or internal sex organs. Or maybe you have muscle spasms. In some cases, the pain is caused by another medical condition.

Some medicines or menopause can cause dryness in the vagina. This dryness can make sex painful.

Talk to your doctor about what might be causing your painful sex. Treatment may help.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Here are some things you can try that may help your pain.

  • Use a lubricant during sex, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly. Lubricants can be water-, silicone-, or oil-based. Ask your doctor about what kind may be a better option for you.
  • Increase the time you and your partner spend touching each other before sex. This is called foreplay.
  • Try different positions for sex to find the most comfortable ones.
  • Ask your doctor about exercises for your pelvic muscles.
  • Before sex, take a warm bath. This can relax you and reduce anxiety.
  • If your doctor prescribes any medicines, take them exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.