Dating with Endometrosis: Bleeding During Sex
Dating someone with a chronic illness can be a world of fun. Not!
There is the stress of disclosing your private health history to someone that could potentially class you as "complicated", and dump you before you can even say "excision surgery". Fertility issues are among the most mortifying topics of conversation when dating.
Yet with endometriosis, the infertility ghost will haunt you even when you’re not even thinking about having a baby.
To top it all, even when you’ve found someone you like and they don't mind the state of your ovaries, enjoying some one-on-one intimacy can become messy, quite literally. It can get bloody.
Stained sheets and my blood over a partner’s body, are just some of the things I am learning to navigate while dating with endometriosis.
Why do we bleed during sex?
There are a number of health conditions tied to bleeding during sex, so it is always advisable to talk to a GP to rule out anything potentially problematic. With endometriosis, postcoital bleeding is a common symptom.1
Some of us with this condition experience occasional spotting which will be brought on by having intimate relations.
In my personal case, I am on hormonal medication to eliminate my periods. But I take such a minimal amount, that my cycle is still happening, meaning I experience the occasional light bleed.
If I am having sex though, a random bleed can sometimes create a very big mess.
Bleeding can lead to embarrassing moments
I once hooked up with a very sweet guy, in his very lovely flat. It was all going fine and I was experiencing zero pain when suddenly, I bled.
It wasn’t a small amount. In this very vulnerable moment of intimacy with a guy I didn't know that well, my insides decided to replicate a murder scene.
There was a lot of blood on me, on the guy, and on his pristine white sheets.
I was mortified, and I had only started steeping my toes into the dating pool. All I wanted was to set any dry-cleaning bills, teleport to my home, and hide under my duvet until my mind erased all memories of that dreadful evening.
White and endometriosis don’t mix
I take my hat off to anyone who lives in a pristine house full of light surfaces and white soft furnishings. But the combo of the dog plus occasional heavy bleeder means it is all dark colors at House of Jessa.
It gets especially dark under the covers. I love busy prints, and especially favor teal, which while dark, is still colorful enough to bring me some joy.
Warning my partners about my bleeding
After that forgettable incident, I now tell any potential partners. If intercourse is in the cards, and I know there’s a chance I might spot, I will try to explain how my body works and place a towel here and there for good measure.
I also choose to have sex at my place, to be able to control any mishaps.
Having said this, there are times I’ve forgotten to mention my body’s tendency to bleed when least expected, and, mostly I’ve been met with some really cool and understanding reactions.
I don’t know if there’s anything in the water, or if the times are truly changing, but people seem to be more clued up about periods than ever. Are they reading these articles?
Bleeding during sex is not shameful
The most important thing to take from all of this is that bleeding during sex is pretty ok and normal for those of us with endometriosis. Furthermore, a big percentage of society actually enjoys having sex during their periods.
Not me though, my periods feel like medieval torture, and my libido is low when my pain is high.
Our bodily fluids are entirely natural, and a good sense of humor during sex is extremely sexy. Anyone worth our time will be understanding and sweet as pie when accidents occur.
As I continue to date, I know that preciousness over bed sheets is futile, and kindness goes a long way.
Do you ever experience urinary incontinence?