How to have a great sex life even if you have Endometriosis

How to have a great sex life even if you have Endometriosis

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What is Endometriosis

Roughly 10% (190 million) of reproductive age women and girls globally suffer from Endometriosis. Endometriosis affects an estimated 2 to 10 percent of American women between the ages of 25 and 40, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

World Health Organization describes Endometriosis as a chronic disease characterized by the presence of tissue resembling endometrium (the lining of the uterus) outside the uterus. It causes a chronic inflammatory reaction that may result in the formation of scar tissue (adhesions, fibrosis) within the pelvis and other parts of the body.

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The reason women complain about pain during sex pain is because endometriosis can grow in different places around your uterus, fallopian tubes, and the back of the vagina.

Sex may be most painful if the endometriosis is behind your vagina in the lower uterus. Sometimes endometriosis can even adhere the vagina to the rectum. Penetration can pull or stretch the irritated tissue, causing pain.

These growths can cause pain and swelling, particularly during ovulation and menstruation.

Symptoms associated with endometriosis vary, and include a combination of:

  1. painful periods
  2. chronic pelvic pain
  3. pain during and/or after sexual intercourse
  4. painful bowel movements
  5. painful urination
  6. fatigue
  7. depression or anxiety
  8. abdominal bloating and nausea

What Is the Difference Between Fibroids and Endometriosis?

Both uterine fibroids and endometriosis are issues that affect the uterus, but they take different forms. Fibroids are benign, muscular tumors that grow from the uterine wall. There are a few different types of fibroids, classified by their location, and they can grow in clusters of multiple fibroids, or large enough to cause visible swelling in the abdomen.

With endometriosis, the inner lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) begins to grow outside of the uterus. This can be a painful and chronic medical condition where the overgrowth of tissue can also affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and pelvic tissue.

How to great sex life even if you have Endometriosis

While having endometriosis can result in painful sex it doesn’t mean that you have to give up being intimate with your partner. You just need to make a few tweaks in your approach to sex. There are ways to lessen or even get rid of the pain.

Communicate with your partner

Sexual activity is a deeply personal topic. While you may feel awkward talking about it with your partner, that discomfort is probably less than the pain you’ll continue to feel if you don’t speak up. Talking to your partner about dyspareunia will help them understand your situation better. To make it easier:

  • Set aside time when you and your partner can chat without distractions or interruptions.
  • Explain what endometriosis is. If you need a starter definition, try this: It’s when tissue that normally grows inside my uterus grows outside it. This irritates the organs around it and makes me hurt.
  • If you’re comfortable, tell them how the condition makes you feel physically and emotionally.
  • Only offer as much information as you want to.
  • If you want to, take your partner with you to a doctor’s appointment so they can ask questions and feel included in your support system.

Communicate with your doctor

You may not want to discuss painful sex with your doctor, but you need to. Sexual health is part of your physical and mental well-being, so it’s worth working up the courage. Your doctor may recommend medications to control endometriosis, or they might suggest laparoscopic surgery, which is a common treatment. The surgeon will remove as much of the tissue as possible growing outside of the uterus. Most people who’ve had it say their quality of life improves and sex is less painful.

Think about timing

The pain may get worse around your period. You might try to avoid sex during this time.

Experiment with positions

Some women say any sex position causes pain, while other women find only certain positions hurt. It can help to find one where penetration is shallow or where you have control over the depth, like a side-by-side spoon position with penetration from behind.

Consider other forms of pleasure

Intercourse isn’t the only way to be close to your partner, of course. Try foreplay, oral sex, or mutual masturbation.

Use a lubricant

Some women with endometriosis use a type of hormone therapy to treat their symptoms. But this can lead to vaginal dryness, which also makes sex uncomfortable. A vaginal lubricant can help with that. They work better than petroleum jelly or other products that aren’t specifically designed for vaginal dryness. Oil-based and natural lubricants can damage latex on condoms and diaphragms.

Seek Medical Attention

If you are suffering from pelvic pain, then either endometriosis or fibroids may be the cause. You won’t know for sure, however, until your physician performs either a pelvic exam or an imaging test such as ultrasound. It is worthwhile to understand the difference between fibroids and endometriosis to better understand your health, explain your symptoms to your physician, and pursue a treatment plan that will alleviate any symptoms.
Tausi, is a budding writer who loves to explore women taboo topics and bring them to the fore.
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