Do you have endometriosis? If so, you’ve probably experienced endometriosis pain during sex. This pain can be unbearable for some, and mild for others.
What exactly is endometriosis?
Endometriosis happens when cells similar to the cells in your uterus lining grow in other places of the body like the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Because these are growths, they can be in the way when you have sex, causing that painful feeling.
Endometriosis symptoms can vary, from heavy periods and menstrual bleeding, more painful periods, and pain during sex. There is a medical term for pain during sex, which is dyspareunia. Pain during sex occurs frequently for those with endometriosis because the movements and penetration during sex can move, stretch, or pull the growths of endometriosis.
There are many ways to manage this pain during sex caused by endometriosis. Everyone deserves to have a comfortable and pleasurable sex life! Let’s dive into the depths of endometriosis and how to cope with it.
Why do you experience pain during sex when you have endometriosis?
People with endometriosis often experience pain during sex – it is a very common symptom that can make normal pleasure very uncomfortable. Penetration, riding, and other body movements will stretch and move the endometrial tissue. This is especially true if the endometriosis is behind the vagina or the uterus area. Some women also experience pain because of vaginal dryness. There are many ways to address endometriosis, from hormonal treatments to hysterectomy (which is where the uterus is surgically removed), but as it turns out, these methods of treatments can cause vaginal dryness.
Does sex feel different when you have it?
It is important to note that not every person who has endometriosis will experience pain while having sex, but again, this is a very common symptom.
Women with endometriosis describe the pain as:
- A stabbing or sharp pain
- Pain that is felt in their stomach or abdomen area
- Pain ranges that can be very mild discomfort, or severe pain that is unbearable.
These feelings of pain caused by endometriosis can vary from person to person and can also vary based on the style and position of intercourse. Some may be fine with regular penetration, while some may have pain from any insertion. Others may experience pain when penetration is deep, and even more may experience the pain after sex versus during sex.
Some sexual positions are better.
Since everybody is different, every person with endometriosis may experience a different kind of pain. However, there are some positions that put far less pressure on their pelvic area and the areas that have endometrial tissue. It’s important to communicate with your partner, and experiment to try and find the best and most comfortable position for you and your unique body.
One thing that seems to work well for many is being on top. Because the position of riding on top allows you to control how deep the penetration is, and how hard and fast you ride, you can really figure out exactly what will be most comfortable for you and your individual needs when managing endometrial pain.
There are also multiple studies that show that positions with more shallow penetration can be much more comfortable. Some examples of these positions include:
Missionary is often said to be the most painful position for women with endometriosis, as it does not allow the person to control as much the depth and speed that their partner is going.
If you have endometriosis and find that all types of penetrative sex are too uncomfortable for you, there are still other ways to engage in sexual activity either with your partner or alone.
What are some other important tips for handling endometriosis and sex?
If you are experiencing pain during sex, whether you have endometriosis or not, it is important to speak with your doctor to find the underlying problem and a solution to it.
There are many steps you can take if you have endometriosis and are trying to manage pain with sex. Read on for some additional tips on reducing that pain.
- Many believe that endometriosis pain during sex is lessened the week after ovulation, or during the two weeks after your period. Experiment with timing and see if you notice a difference.
- Maximize your foreplay time to allow for more natural lubrication, and use a lubricant if you need to! There is no shame in getting a little extra help. After all, that is what lubricants are designed to do.
- Ensuring that penetration is initially gentle and slow. This helps prep your body.
- Having open communication with your partner to let them know if something is not feeling good, or if it is!
- Try to take a warm shower, and maybe even a Tylenol before sex to alleviate any possible pain symptoms.
- Be sure that you are trying different positions to find what works best for you.
- Not just focusing on sexual penetration, but foreplay and erogenous zones as well, so that you may receive pleasure in other ways.
Telling your partner about endometriosis and pain during sex should not be scary.
Even though you may feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or nervous to tell your partner about how you are feeling during sex, and explaining endometriosis, remember that if they are the right person for you, they will understand. Communication is not only the key for a healthy relationship, but also for an incredible sex life with your partner. You need to be able to tell your partner when sex feels painful, what you do not like, and to express your desire to find other options that are more enjoyable and pleasurable for you. These conversations will also help you be closer to each other, which helps with overall intimacy.
Remember that first and foremost, your partner should be your friend. They should not just care about sex. However, it is important to remember that if they do not understand that you have endometriosis, and the pain it may cause, they may feel undesired, unwanted, and frustrated. Sharing your feelings will help them be closer to you, and allow them the opportunity to learn more about endometriosis and how to help you feel good. If you are enjoying sex, then they will be too!
Try to have this conversation at a time where you are not about to have sex.
Your partner should not feel attacked by the way you approach the subject at hand. Try to understand that they are probably not hurting you on purpose, and most likely do not understand how you are feeling. It is important not to criticize each other, but rather to explain your feelings, wants, desires, and needs with them. You can also express the positions that feel the best for you, and what they should avoid. They can then ask questions and learn more, to be better prepared and more knowledgeable about what is good and not good for you and your body.
Painful sex, especially when caused by an underlying condition, may be emotional to handle and talk about. However, with open and genuine conversation and communication, you can reach the point that sex becomes pleasurable for both of you! This will bring you and your partner closer together, and allow them to be emotionally available to help you in coping with those feelings surrounding endometriosis and your sex life.