Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
What Is Genital Pain?
Genital pain is just that - pain in your genital region. This may be experienced
during sexual intercourse or at rest.
What Causes Genital Pain?
Causes of male genital pain include:
- Irritation of the prostate gland and urethra from therapy, which can cause painful
- Tumors of the penis, testicles, prostate, or anywhere in the rectum may cause genital
Causes of female genital pain include:
- Cancers, such as cervical, endometrial, vaginal, ovarian, or vulvar.
- Side effects of pelvic radiation, radiation implants, or chemotherapy include:
- Decreased vaginal lubrication, or painful intercourse (dysparenuia)
- Change in vaginal sensation, or usual sexual expression due to your situation.
- Decreased elasticity of the vagina, and shortening of the vaginal vault may all
lead to pain during intercourse
- Increased vaginal irritation is also common.
What You Can Do For Genital Pain:
- Inform your healthcare provider if you are experiencing genital pain.
- For females: Dryness from treatment can result in genital pain during intercourse.
A lack of estrogen hormones, and effects of radiation can also greatly affect the
lubrication, and elasticity of the vagina.
- Use a water based lubricant in your vagina and around the opening prior to penetration.
- Make certain you are aroused before penetration; arousal increases the width and
diameter of the vagina.
- Try different positions, old favorites may no longer be comfortable. Most
favored is the "woman on top" and "side-to-side". These positions allow the woman
more control over penetration.
- Communicate what types of touching hurt or feel good to your partner.
- If you are having problems with tightness, which often follows radiation therapy,
or treatment for vaginal cancer, you may want to use a vaginal dilator. A dilator
will help to slowly stretch the vagina over a period of time. Your physician can
help provide the dilator and material to educate you on how to use the device.
- Discuss with your healthcare provider if hormone replacement therapy is right for
Common Problems With Sexuality: Impotence, Gynecomastia, Loss of Libido, Vaginal
Dryness, Vaginal Infection,
and Genital Pain
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health
care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information
contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute
for medical advice.
Chemocare.com is designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. For information about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program visit www.4thangel.org