Endometriosis may make some things painful, but it doesn’t have to steal your sex life.
If you’re like many people who have endometriosis, you struggled with symptoms for years before learning your diagnosis. One of those endometriosis symptoms is dyspareunia, better known as pain during sex. Obviously, this could take a toll on your relationships and quality of life.
When you learn that painful sex is common for people with endometriosis, dread may set in as you envision the difficult road ahead. Luckily, dyspareunia doesn’t mean you need to become chaste. The best thing to do is to educate yourself about what causes pain during sex, so you know ways you can still do the deed with less pain.
Why Endometriosis Causes Pain During Sex
To understand why endometriosis causes pain during sex, you have to understand a bit of anatomy. Think of the area behind the uterus like a cul-de-sac. Normally, it has a lining that separates the rectum, vagina, and uterus.
Endometriosis often causes the vagina to cling to the rectum. It becomes inflamed as the front of the rectum fuses to the back of the vagina, so it may be painful during penetrative sex.
To make it worse, endometriosis can make it harder for the vagina can move and expand during sex. This can make certain sex positions more painful. Your pain may depend on exactly where endometriosis tissue is located and how advanced it is. If the endometriosis is widespread, all sex positions could be painful.
Dealing with Painful Sex
Painful sex is personal and may be difficult to discuss. However, being vocal may improve your sexual health as well as the strength of your relationships. Experts recommend open and honest communication about what you like and what feels good.
It’s also helpful to be strategic about the timing of sex. There may be times of the month where sex is less painful. If that’s the case, take advantage of those times.
Experiment with different positions to see what works for you. If intercourse is too painful, that doesn’t mean your sex life is over. You can try focusing on other aspects of physical intimacy like foreplay, which can including kissing, oral sex, touching other parts of the body, and it can even be a chance to incorporate sex toys. Learn more options here for dealing with painful sex.
Struggling to cope with painful sex or other endo symptoms? Start a conversation with your doctor for help managing your symptoms and taking back control of your sex life.