Painful Sex: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Painful sex can be caused by many things. You may have an injury, an infection, or a growth in your vagina. Or maybe you have muscle spasms. In some cases, the pain is caused by another medical condition, such as a spinal problem.

Some medicines can cause dryness in the vagina. And as a woman gets older, her vagina gets drier. It may also narrow, shorten, and get stiffer. 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 call line 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?

  • Use a vaginal lubricant during sex. Examples are Astroglide and K-Y Jelly.
  • 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 to strengthen and relax 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 or nurse call line 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 call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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