Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Select An Article

Pain Management: Maintaining Intimacy

Font Size
A
A
A

Chronic pain can lead to sexual problems. When you are in pain, the last thing you probably want to do is be intimate with your partner. But it is important to remain close to your loved one. A healthy, intimate relationship can positively affect all aspects of your life.

Many people living with pain often have fears about sexuality, including:

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Take the Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Chronic Pain?

No doubt about it -- plenty of us are suffering from chronic pain. More than 50 million Americans have some form of this malady, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. But having lots of company doesn’t make it any easier to bear. Chronic pain wears people down, causes fatigue and insomnia, and results in missed work and social isolation. What can you do if chronic pain is interfering with your life? Start by learning what you know -- and maybe don’t know -- about it with this true or...

Read the Take the Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Chronic Pain? article > >

  • Fear of rejection by a partner: It is common for people with chronic pain to feel that a partner is no longer interested. You may wonder if a partner is less attracted to you because you are in pain. Share your feelings and fears with your partner and listen to your partner's concerns.
  • Fear of pain associated with sex: It is natural to worry that sexual intercourse will cause you more physical pain. You can address this concern by experimenting with different positions that are more comfortable.
  • Fear of failure to perform: Pain, depression, alcohol and medications all can affect sexual performance or the ability to get aroused or have an orgasm. Sometimes, failure to perform is caused by stress and anxiety. In many cases, patience and understanding can help in overcoming performance problems. Many medications can reduce your sexual ability and/or cause impotence. If you suspect a medication may be affecting your sexual performance, don't stop taking the drug without first consulting your health care provider.

If intercourse is undesirable, there are other ways to be aroused, including:

  • Touching: Explore your partner's body through touch. This may include cuddling, fondling, stroking, massaging and kissing. Touch increases feelings of intimacy.
  • Self-stimulation: Masturbation is a normal and healthy way to fulfill your sexual needs.
  • Oral sex: This form of contact may be an alternative or supplement to traditional intercourse.

You may also want to experiment with having sex at different times of the day or in different positions. If you have more pain in the evening, having sex earlier in the day might help. Try different positions -- some may feel better than others. You may also want to use lubricants when there is a lack of natural lubrication. Lubricants can ease or prevent pain associated with sexual contact.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
illustration of nerves in hand
Slideshow
lumbar spine
Slideshow
 
Woman opening window
Slideshow
Man holding handful of pills
Video
 
Woman shopping for vegetables
Slideshow
Sore feet with high heel shoes
Slideshow
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
man with a migraine
Slideshow