Endometriosis and Intimacy
Last updated: March 2023
Endometriosis, and all that comes along with it, isn’t exactly the most romantic experience. I mean, pick any of the many less-than-attractive things to spoil the mood.
- Bloating (Hello endo belly!)
- Mood swings
- Endless pads, tampons, and panty liners
It’s all so romantic, isn’t it?
Yet, it’s our world. But just because we have endometriosis doesn’t mean that we can’t have romantic, intimate moments and evenings with our partners.
With the right communication and some practical tips, it's possible to navigate these challenges to build stronger, more intimate relationships.
But where do you start?
Communication in relationships
It’s the foundation of every relationship, endometriosis or not.
I know firsthand it’s not the easiest conversation at first, but it’s essential to talk with your partner about your symptoms.
- How you’re feeling
- How the symptoms are affecting you
- What you need from them
Explain your symptoms, when they occur, and how they affect you. Be honest about your limitations and how you're feeling both physically and emotionally. Don't be afraid to ask for help or support when you need it.
Be honest and direct about your needs. This may require a little prep work or thought on your end to first identify your needs.
If you’re not clear on them yourself, it will be near impossible for your partner to know and understand them. Taking some time to journal about your feelings and your needs prior to this conversation can really help to better communicate them to your partner.
Tips for maintaining intimacy
Okay, so you’ve had the conversation, but how do you help to maintain intimacy in your relationship?
Consider alternative forms of intimacy
Sex isn’t the only way to experience intimacy with your partner. Cuddling is a great way to feel close to your partner and something that you can do on the couch or in bed.
Take a bath or shower together
Taking a bath or shower together can be a relaxing and intimate experience. Add some candles or essential oils as you enjoy being close in a warm, steamy environment.
Give each other massages
Yes, please! I’m all for a relaxing massage.
It can relieve stress and tension and can also be incredibly intimate. Again, you can use special essential oils if that enhances the experience for you too!
Turn on your favorite music and dance with your partner. You could pick your wedding song – or simply your favorite song that you want to enjoy together. You could even dim the lights as you hold each other close.
Go on a picnic
Picnics are more than just scenes in a romantic movie. You can use them to create your own romantic and intimate experience in your own life. Pack a basket with your favorite foods, find a quiet spot outdoors, and enjoy each other’s company.
Make more eye contact
How often, and how long, do you actually look into your partner’s eyes? In our busy world, it’s likely a lot less than you think. But this simply practice can create an incredibly powerful connection and build intimacy.
These are just a few of the endless options to build intimacy in your relationship, but I know it’s not a comprehensive list. Will you share your ideas below so we can learn from you too?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):