Endometriosis And Painful Sexual Intercourse

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Endometriosis And Painful Sexual Intercourse

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissues lining the endometrium (uterus) begin growing on the outer side of uterine cavity. The intensity of pain depends upon the location of endometriosis lesions and not the size. Majority of the women with endometriosis suffer from excruciating pain while having sexual intercourse.

A recent study from Italy revealed that half of all the women with endometriosis go through severe pain during intercourse and feel helpless and unable to converse about it with their partners, making matters even worse.

Endometriosis And Painful Sex

Painful sex is the first pointer of endometriosis that most women try to ignore. It is normal to feel embarrassed while discussing the problem with the doctor but leaving the issue unattended only prolongs the suffering due to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

If the endometriosis lesions are located at the lower side of uterus or behind the vagina and are adversely affecting the ligaments and nerves of uterus then the pain will be of high intensity because thrusting during sex increases the pressure.

The pain intensity ranges from less to intolerable and it may be deep, stabbing, sharp or even widespread. Any sort of penetration may fuel the intensity of pain and it may either last till the intercourse or it might take a couple of days to disappear.

How Endometriosis Affects The Sex Life In Women?

A board certified ob-gynecologist and fertility expert, John C. Petrozza, suggests that women with endometriosis often cringe with pain by even thinking about intercourse. Anticipating about pain makes a woman anxious, agitated and agonized making her even more tensed and this further contributes to the painful sex. Slightest penetration can become an utter horror show and so eventually women begin to avoid sex.

How To Address Endometriosis Symptoms?

Sexual Dysfunction In Women imageHaving endometriosis should not be a no-go for sex. Therefore, there are some approaches to tackle the situation and to bring sexual life back in swing.

The first and foremost thing to do is to discuss it all with the sex partner. That will not only lift some major weight off the chest but it will also help in overcoming the fear of painful sex. Given below are 3 strategies that can help:

  • Different sex position: According to Dr. Petrozza sometimes conventional sex position; the missionary style may aggravate the situation as it involves the tilting of uterus towards its posterior side. It can be very painful and uncomfortable for women with endometriosis. But on the other side, positions such as doggy style and side to side can totally change the game. If the interest is lost due to the uncomfortable sex position, then fondling, massaging and kissing may be added in to balance the sex equation.
  • Choosing the right time: It may not come as news that timing has a significant impact on sexual life. Sex may be less arduous during certain phases of menstrual cycle. Women who usually have pain during the mid of their menstrual cycle, have a chance to seize the opportunity for less painful sex from the last day of period to the day before ovulation begins and after ovulation ends to last few days before the next period is due.
  • Communication: Hiding the pain and not talking it out is not a very ideal choice. This can create some serious misunderstanding and the partner may misinterpret the pain with lack of interest, and that can wreck a happy relationship. Support from the partner or even from a friend or a family member can really help alleviate the mental stress a woman with endometriosis goes through. Therefore, it is essential to avoid isolation and to discuss the matter with the nearest ones so they can not only be educated about this issue but also be a part of the solution.

In case the above strategies become fruitless then seeking medical assistance should be the next approach. A doctor may recommend some hormone therapies or the use of certain birth control pills to minimize the size of the lesions. Studies have revealed that in some cases, surgery has been beneficial in removing the endometriosis lesions and alleviating the pain during sexual intercourse.

It is important that this problem is addressed at the right time before it causes more damage than can be undone.

References

  • Dunselman, G. A. J., Vermeulen, N., Becker, C., Calhaz-Jorge, C., D’Hooghe, T., De Bie, B., … & Prentice, A. (2014). ESHRE guideline: management of women with endometriosis. Human Reproduction, 29(3), 400-412.
  • Jacobson, T. Z., Duffy, J., Barlow, D. H., Koninckx, P. R., & Garry, R. (2014). Laparoscopic surgery for pelvic pain associated with endometriosis. The Cochrane Library.
By | 2017-09-06T16:15:31+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Categories: Female Urology|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Elist (James J. Elist, M.D.,F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S.), has been in private practice in Beverly Hills, California since 1982 specializing in Urology. Dr Elist ‘s major interests (sub specialties) include impotency, male sexual dysfunction, infertility and Male Enhancement Procedures(Penile Enlargement and Testicular Enlargement).