Endometriosis is a condition in which cells that look like uterine lining grow in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or colon. These growths can make intercourse difficult at times.
The medical name for sex-related pain is dyspareunia. Penetration and other movements associated with intercourse can strain and tug endometrial growths, it happens often in patients with endometriosis.
Why Could Sex Be Painful With Endometriosis?
Pain during sex is a common symptom of endometriosis. Penetration and other movements related to intercourse can pull and stretch endometrial tissue, particularly if it has grown behind the vagina or lower uterus.
This pain might also be caused by vaginal dryness. Dryness can be caused by some therapies for endometriosis, such as hormone therapy or a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).
What Does Sex Feel Like with Endometriosis?
Not every person with endometriosis experiences pain during sex.
Those who do may experience the following :
- A pain that is sudden or feels like stabbing
- Pain deep in the abdomen
- Pain ranging from mild to severe
The severity of the pain varies from person to person and may be influenced by the type of intercourse. Some people only feel pain during deep penetration, but others feel pain after intercourse rather than during it.
Best Sex Positions for Endometriosis
Some positions relieve strain on endometrial tissue-containing parts of the pelvis. A person should experiment with their spouse to find the positions that are most comfortable for them.
However, many people believe that certain positions are superior to others. When someone with endometriosis is on top, for example, they may regulate the depth and speed of penetration, allowing them to choose a comfortable pattern.
Also, comfortable positions often involve shallow penetration. Some of these positions include:
- Raising the hips of the person with endometriosis
- A modified doggy style
The missionary position could be painful for women with endometriosis.
Sometimes any form of penetrative sex is painful, and a person may prefer to engage in other types of sexual activity, including:
- Oral stimulation
- Using toys
Other Tips for Sex with Endometriosis
Anyone experiencing pain during sex should talk with their doctor to determine a pain management plan.
Below are some additional steps a person with endometriosis can take to reduce pain during sex:
- Having penetrative intercourse at certain times of the month. It may be less painful in the week after ovulation or in the 2 weeks following a period.
- Extending foreplay to increase the amount of natural lubrication before penetration
- Practicing gentle and slow penetration
- Using plenty of lubricant during sex
- Communicating with a partner about what does and does not feel good
- Having a warm bath or taking a painkiller to ease symptoms before or after sex
- Trying different positions
- Practicing forms of sexual activity that do not involve penetration
- Attending counseling or sex therapy to deal with the consequences of endometriosis and improve communication
How to Talk with a Partner About Endometriosis
Communication is key to healthy sex life.
Informing a partner when sex is painful and discussing what is and is not pleasurable can make sex more enjoyable for all parties involved and boosts feelings of intimacy.
It’s critical to express sex-related feelings, needs, anxieties, and frustrations. A spouse can be having similar thoughts and fears of causing pain or distress.
It may be easier to start this conversation in a neutral place outside the bedroom. Partners should talk about their favorite physical stimulation, as well as positions to avoid.
Dealing with painful sex can be a challenging and emotional task in general. The idea is to encourage honest and open communication so that sex is enjoyable and pain-free for both partners.
Endometriosis can cause severe abdominal pain, which often occurs during or after sex.
Although medication can help to alleviate endometriosis symptoms, such as discomfort during sex, it is a good idea for couples to develop an environment of understanding and conversation regarding painless and pleasurable sex.
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