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My Sex Diary: Part 3

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here

Sometimes during sex, it still feels like my husband is hitting something. Endometriosis in one area — like my ovaries — is likely sending inflammatory cytokines that stir up trouble in other parts of the pelvis, a doctor told me.1,2 That’s chronic inflammation at work in endometriosis. It is likely why my bladder and appendix area hurt sometimes during sex, despite not having endometriosis on them — that I know of. When I’m close to the start of my period, I find that shifting my pelvis to certain angles helps lessen some of my discomfort during sex.

Here’s what I do.

Add a pillow

If you look at female anatomy, it isn’t hard to see why someone with endometriosis would experience pain with penetration. Many of our pelvic organs are right around the vaginal canal. So, my husband probably is hitting something. And if that something is inflamed, it certainly does not feel great. When I put a pillow or cushion under my butt, it shifts my body to a position that lets the penis slide under (or around) these inflamed parts a little easier. And using a pillow helps tilt my pelvis up and keep it there instead of trying to hold the position myself. While any pillow can help, I decided to invest in the “wedge” by the Liberator company. It’s sturdier than the cozy pillow I lay my head on at night. Plus, I’d rather have a sex-specific pillow anyway.

Switching positions

If I need to, I will change up positions constantly during sex. Missionary (or woman on bottom) is a reliably comfortable option. But if it’s giving me trouble, I’ll get on top. That gives me much more control of the speed and depth of our sex session. The worst position for pain? From behind. That probably hurts more because it allows for deeper penetration. I take this position off the table for probably half the month. For other options, just break out the Kama Sutra and start exploring.

What to do if nothing helps

First, consult an endometriosis specialist. Surgery was the most important step in improving my sex life. If you’ve had your endometriosis surgically evaluated and you’ve tried adding extra lubrication, more clitoral stimulation, and switching up your positions but you still have too much pain, try visiting a sexual wellness or pelvic floor specialist in addition to your OB-GYN. Conditions like vulvodynia can cause pain at the vaginal opening and during sex.3 Other forms of pelvic floor dysfunction — that can be treated with physical therapy — can also lead to painful sex.4 Chronic stress also isn’t doing your sex life any favors.5

If your physician seems unconcerned with your complaints about sex, move on. There are doctors out there whose only job is to help others in their journey through sexual health. It can be frustrating when sex is difficult, but don’t give up. Even with endometriosis, you can still have a healthy sex life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Miller J, Ahn S, Monsanto S, Khalaj K, Koti M, Tayade C. Implications of immune dysfunction on endometriosis associated infertility. Oncotarget. 2017;8(4):7138-7147. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5351695/. Accessed April 25, 2019.
  2. Riley C, Moen M, Videm V. Inflammatory markers in endometriosis: reduced peritoneal neutrophil response in minimal endometriosis. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007;86(7):877-881. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17611835. Accessed April 25, 2019.
  3. Prendergast S. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Vulvodynia: A Clinician's Guide. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2017;44(3):509-522. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28778646. Accessed April 25, 2019.
  4. Brotto L, Yong P, Smith K, Sadownik L. Impact of a multidisciplinary vulvodynia program on sexual functioning and dyspareunia. J Sex Med. 2015;12(1):238-247. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25354520. Accessed April 25, 2019.
  5. Hamilton L, Meston C. Chronic stress and sexual function in women. J Sex Med. 2013;10(10):2443-2454. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4199300/. Accessed April 25, 2019.

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