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Is pain during intercourse a systom? My wife has breast cancer and she really can't even be touch in the area.

By Anonymous December 15, 2009 - 7:18am
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Her age is 64 and she saw her GYN about 3months ago. Another long story but I'm (w'ere) not to fond of her. She told her don't be concerned about the knot in her breast then the next thing we know she's stage 4 and had surgery to remove both breast with in two weeks. Another symton I didn't mention is extreme fatige and she also has Dermatomyositis, it's in remission.

Thanks Jb

December 15, 2009 - 2:10pm

Thanks for your question.

Pain during intercourse is definitely a symptom of either physical or emotional condition, whether it be from an infection or emotional trauma.

However...this probably does not apply to your wife's situation, as you further explain that she can't even be touched in this area. By "this area", are you referring to her genitals overall (vagina, vulva, etc) or specifically her vagina during intercourse?

Most importantly: how is her breast cancer being treated? What medications is she on, and is she only uncomfortable in "this area" during intimate times, or all the time? Are other parts of her body painful/uncomfortable, or only the area you are referencing?

I'm curious what your wife has explained to you, as far as the sensations she is experiencing. Is she feeling pain when anything is inserted in her vagina (penis, finger), or is there pain with any type of touching in her genital area---whether it be during an intimate time with you, or also when she is wiping with toilet paper after using the restroom, or washing herself during a shower? Is there an emotional component to the discomfort as well, that she is afraid to be intimate at a time when another part of her body is undergoing treatment? Is she wanting to be physically intimate with you in other ways (other than genital stimulation), but unable to communicate with you about this---so she just says "it hurts"? It may be painful, depending on her current treatments, but just wanted to inquire with you if she has explained that it is more of a physical or emotional (or both) cause.

December 15, 2009 - 1:04pm
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Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

The pain is only internal, she does want and tries to be intimate but as soon as she (we) try it's just to painful. The breast cancer is be treated with aremidex (not sure of spelling) her chemo has been complete for a year this month. That's my biggest concern is that what we've read it's been enough time for chemo to be a non factor. I keep hearing of Ovarion Cancer and this is one of the symtoms. This is a long story that I won't get into but she's been miss diagnosed three times and we just do our own research.


December 15, 2009 - 1:26pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I'm so glad to hear back from you.

I will ask one of our medical experts to respond to your question, to see if there are any lasting effects of chemotherapy treatment that involve painful intercourse.

The medical expert may want to know a few more details about your wife's situation, and just to anticipate any questions, do any of these factors related to your wife's current status:
- inadequate lubrication in the vagina before or during sex
- fear of penetration
- vaginal infection

Has she been to her GYN recently for an annual exam? As you know, chemo can "kill" some of the "good cells" or otherwise cause some weakness in the immune system, and she may have a vaginal infection (easily treated with antibiotics), or she may be coincidentally going through some hormonal changes that alter how much natural lubrication she produces. (Can you let us know her age for the medical experts?).

I just wanted to rule out some of the more "obvious" factors, so that the medical expert has all of the information beforehand; I understand you are primarily worried about another cancer diagnosis.

In the meantime, you can read another EmpowHer expert discuss Pain during Sex (Matthew Karlovsky M.D.), with the medical term "dyspareunia".

We will get back to you soon.

December 15, 2009 - 1:51pm
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