Endometriosis and Sex
Sex. What a personal topic. Just the word alone makes me blush. I have never been one to be open about my sex life. To this very day, at the whopping age of 30, sex scenes in movies still make me uncomfortable. But it hit me the other day, why I think that is. Majority of the time, anything to do with sex on TV is made to look so perfect. The women are always beautiful and wearing sexy outfits. The movement, the flow, everything seems to go just right.
But in my world, that isn’t how it goes. The pain, bleeding, feeling uncomfortable from being bloated, take over any little bit of being able to enjoy it. So, seeing it on TV doesn’t really make me embarrassed, it makes me sad and jealous.
Unfortunately, painful sex is something many women with endometriosis suffer from. And you guessed it, myself included.
I have always had gynecological issues. Abnormal periods, pain, and urinary tract infections occurred a lot. I never felt ‘normal’. I guess you could also say, I was never really a "sexaholic", but sex was enjoyable. It was only a few years ago that it started to become the worst thing ever.
My lack of sex drive does make my relationship with my husband hard. The feeling of "my lady parts are broken" make me want to cry, daily. How can a marriage work without intimacy? Will this horrible illness keep our sex life rocky for the rest of our life? Unfortunately, I just do not know the answers to those questions. But I do know there are ways to try and make it more enjoyable, to try and be able to bring back intimacy into our lives... Even if it is only sometimes.
It is important to be open and honest with your significant other about your endometriosis pain. This may help you feel a bit more confident and comfortable with your situation. Of course, symptoms vary from women to women but there are many options out there to help lessen painful sex.
Vaginal dryness can be one of the main causes of painful sex. Using lube can help ease pain and discomfort being felt during sex. Research the types of lubes out there and see what would work best for you and your partner.
Keep track of menstrual cycle
In reality, endometriosis pretty much causes pain no matter what time of the month. But for me personally, I definitely experience more pain during my period. Tracking and knowing when you are due for your period, may help you better understand when the worst times to have sex would be. There are many period tracking apps you can download to your phone!
Over-the-counter pain meds
Of course, ask your doctor before taking any medication. I have found, though, that taking Ibuprofen or Advil an hour before sex, can help. I know this would have to be more planned, and not as romantic. But hey, if it helps reduce pain! Taking pain reliever after sex may also be helpful too. Be sure to understand pain relievers do not work for everybody. So, it may or may not be a good fit for you.
This can be awkward and scary, but trying new positions can help with pain and bleeding. Certain positions can cause more pain than others due to where your uterus is located. I have a polyp on my cervix, so sometimes certain positions cause that to bleed and hurt horribly. Be open to experiment and see what position works for you.
Bleeding can occur in most endometriosis sufferers. Preparing yourself and partner ahead of time can help with any confusion or embarrassment. If you know that you bleed, prepare a spot. Put a towel or blanket down and leave wipes near by for an easy and quick clean-up.
Take it slow
A lot of times, partners are not on the same page. Your partner may be going too fast or too deep causing you to be in agonizing pain. Use your words. Do not be embarrassed to tell your partner to slow down.
Sometimes, pain can be psychological, as well as physical. Honestly, just the thought of sex alone causes pain for me. It is almost like I have controlled my body to automatically put pain and sex together. A sex therapist may be able to help you find a different mind set. Again, this may not be for everyone. But if you ran out of other ideas, it may be worth a shot.
Intercourse & more
Sometimes, maybe sex just will not work for you. Being intimate with your loved one doesn’t just mean sex, however. Try other things like kissing, foreplay, massaging, etc. Honesty is key. Talking to your partner about what turns each other on and what each other can handle may be helpful. Be open. There are many activities out there to experience with.
What % of endo warriors from our In America survey have both migraines and endo?