What Sex Is Like When You Have Endometriosis

by Christine Schoenwald

Endometriosis affects over 5.5 million women, according WebMD, and yet many people are confused by it or have no knowledge of it whatsoever. I'm not sure I would know what it was if I hadn't been diagnosed with it, but I can definitely tell you how endometriosis affects your life, including (but not limited to) your sex life.

Endometriosis is caused when cells from the lining of the uterus appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity in such places as on the ovaries, behind the uterus, and on the bladder and bowel. They are cells on walkabout, but they still react as if they were still were they should be, which means that every month those outsider-cells thicken and bleed. Since these are rogue cells, the blood has no place to go and the results are cysts, adhesions, scar tissue, infertility, and not always enjoyable sex.

You know how there are some medical issues that once you get a proper diagnosis, you can receive the correct treatment and it goes away? This isn't the case with endometriosis. Once you're diagnosed with it, you'll undergo a number of treatments and possible surgeries that may or may not help. They can remove the scar tissue, the adhesions, the ovaries, and uterus, but you're going to be dealing with this disease for a long, long time.

I've been on all differents kinds of medicines from birth control to something they give men with prostrate cancer called Lupron. I've had a cyst removed, my right ovary taken out, and had the endometriosis cells burned off, and I still have a ton of scar tissue, adhesions like you wouldn't believe, and weird periods that come and go without following any set time. Endometriosis brings new resonance to calling your period a curse, and can take sex from pleasurable to scary very easily.

1. Sex Is Painful

Besides continuing health issues, the one thing that endometriosis is most famous for is pain which can vary from mild to unbearable, from sharp and stabbing, to deep and widespread. Not fun. Sometimes my pain is like a bad bout of cramps, and other times it feels as if someone has reached up and grabbed my internal organs, squeezed, and then instead of letting go, tensed the whole pelvic area. It's difficult to explain and I hope you never experience it for yourself.

If you are an endometriosis-sufferer, you'll get to the point where you know things that will trigger pain during intercourse. When you think you've got this pain thing all figured out, some arbitrary action will set it off. You can be in the middle of having sex, and suddenly you're pushing your partner off you. Oh, and even when your sex session is over, the pain can continue for up to two more days.

2. Your Period Starts Unexpectedly, And At The Worst Possible Moment

You've timed it just right, you actually aren't having any pain and your period isn't expected for weeks. Things are going well, and you're enjoying having some sexual fun, when you notice that you're spotting, and there's blood everywhere. You and your partner weren't expecting to have period sex, and you don't know what to say. Suddenly your sexy time has gone from down and dirty to kind of embarrassing, and there goes the mood.

3. You Start To Dread Sex

Since you don't know when or what may cause you pain, the thought of having sex is starting to turn you off. If you're in a relationship or just having fun with people, you may start to feel scared at the prospect of sex, depressed, or even embarrassed at the various ways your body is out of your control (and not in a good way.)

4. The Treatment Also Interferes With You Having Good Sex

Some of the ways they have of treating endometriosis such as hysterectomies, birth control pills, and estrogen-suppressing medications can cause vaginal dryness, facial hair growth, deepening of the voice, and a form of induced menopause. Some women don't feel like having sex because they don't feel very feminine or have the same level of desire they used to.

5. Spontaneous Sex Is Something Of The Past

Sex can be less painful at certain times during your menstrual cycle. If you're like some women, and tend to have mid-cycle pain (during ovulation) you might want to schedule a sex time. Also you may want to take some ibruprofen an hour before you plan to have sex to help with the pain.

6. You Need More Than Dirty Talk To Improve Your Sex Life

When you have endometriosis, you have to be honest with your partner about what your body is going through, discuss which positions might be better than others, and/or what fun sex things you can do that don't involve intercourse.

Your partner may be going through a lot of different emotions themselves. Finding out what works for both of you will not only improve your sex life, but it may lead to discovering a whole bunch of new techniques and toys that you might not have even considered before.

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