When endometriosis is suffered , the tissue that normally forms in the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, around the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic tissue, bladder, gastrointestinal tract, or , somewhat less frequently, from other parts of the body .
During the menstrual cycle, this tissue that grows where it shouldn't behaves as if it were in the womb : it becomes thicker, tears and bleeds, but the body has no way to get rid of it, causing inflammation. Consequently, scar tissue, adhesions and cysts can be generated .
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ENDOMETRIOSIS AND PAIN DURING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE
You have endometriosis and sex is terribly painful. Pain or discomfort during or after sexual intercourse is one of the symptoms of this progressive disease that affects quality of life. It feels like a knife is going through your uterus. The pain during intercourse is part of the symptoms of endometriosis , a condition that may compromise the structures and organs pelvic (intestine, bladder, ureters, etc.) and thus produce way abdominal and pelvic pain and compromise the reproductive potential.
Diagnosed rather late due to ignorance of symptoms, recognizing it early makes the difference.
Why does endometriosis often lead to pain during sexual intercourse?
Endometriosis is preferably located in the posterior part of the uterus and involves the ligaments that go from the uterus to the sacrum. Every time a menstruation occurs, endometriotic implants react in the same way, causing an internal menstruation with local inflammation and fibrosis over time, and neighboring structures adhere. In the vicinity of the ligaments are the sensory nerves that drive pain.
During sexual intercourse, and more specifically deep penetration, the area compromised by endometriosis is contacted and pain is triggered. The pain is more intense during the relationship and affected women can sometimes recognize certain positions that are particularly bothersome.The pain may also persist after intercourse.
Can this pain be associated with other symptoms, such as low libido?
Libido is affected because relationships are annoying and a sort of conditioned reflex is generated, a vicious circle - "if I have relationships it will hurt" - desire is inhibited and, therefore, libido is affected.
How can you differentiate between pain during sexual intercourse due to endometriosis and pain that can appear from another cause?
A gynecological examination performed by a gynecologist experienced in endometriosis should be sufficient to establish whether the pain may be caused by endometriosis. In the gynecological examination, through vaginal touch, it is not uncommon to find the uterus backwards, tight or nodular sacral uterine ligaments and pain upon mobilization of the uterus.
Tips on How to make sex more enjoyable
When sex becomes painful, the person with endometriosis may feel upset and the relationship with their sexual partner may be strained by the problem.
Sex is supposed to be fun, and if one of the members suffers severe pain, everything becomes much less pleasant, not only for the woman with endometriosis, but also for her partner, who does not want to harm her.
However, if you follow this tips you can improve your sexual relationship with your partner
Communicate with your partner.
Although sometimes it is difficult to raise your voice, do not suffer in silence. Tell your partner what is happening to you and explain in detail how it affects you in your sex life. Tell him what you like and what you don't. Some people may interpret your lack of sexual desire as a sign that you are no longer attracted to your partner. So you should explain that this low libido has nothing to do with it, but with your endometriosis.
Try different postures.
"For some women, being up rather than down in the missionary position allows them to further control penetration and reduce pain," says Hoppe.
Find out what works best for you.
Schedule it for the right time.
Watch your menstrual cycle and see how it affects your pain levels. So, you will discover that there are certain times of the month that tend to be better for mischief, so keep that in mind in your planning.
"Some women say having sex after the period is over is less painful," says psychologist and sex therapist Janet Brito .
Try sexual activities without vaginal penetration.
In some cases, vaginal penetration may be too painful, no matter in which posture, at what speed, or at what time of the month. Try kissing each other naked, masturbating each other, giving and receiving oral sex, rubbing your clothes together.
"Explore different sensations and discover new erogenous zones. Pinch your nipples, use sex toys or try to change your roles in sex, ”Brito proposes.
“Since vaginal dryness is a common cause of pain in sex, it never hurts to have a wild card on hand if there is going to be penetration. You don't want to associate vaginal dryness with endometriosis sex pain, ”says Ross.
Try sexual mindfulness .
Instead of concentrating on reaching orgasm as the sole objective of sex, try to slow down and focus on the sensations of pleasure , take a deep breath and awaken your curiosity to relax your busy minds.
"When you don't feel pressure for how you will do it, you are more likely to live and appreciate the present," says Brito.
Don't underestimate the power of the mind.
Research shows that simply thinking about pleasure can activate the brain as if it were reacting to real physical stimulation. In a 2016 study, Wise and her colleagues found that when participants were asked to imagine playing with a vibrator, "general brain activation" occurred, leading to sexual arousal .
"What this study shows is that it is possible to activate those areas of the brain simply by thinking about sex, confirming how powerful the brain is as a sexual organ," Wise summarizes. "What I recommend to patients who notice pain is to use the power of the mind to imagine that they feel pleasure in the genitals."
Visit a professional.
In addition to going to the doctor to learn about possible treatments , it can also help you to consult with a pelvic health physiotherapist . It will teach you ways to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life in and out of the bedroom.