It’s a sensitive topic. It’s a sensitive area… and who wants to tell their husband that it hurts when they are in the middle of passionate love-making?
Tough one…. right?
I used to experience terrible pain with having Endometriosis and it frequently was the cause of a heap of uncomfortable situations over the years. It was only when I found my husband, and I was able to be more open and honest about my pain, that things were turned around. I finally discovered some interesting correlations with my pain during sex and techniques I could use to alleviate some of them.
photo credit – elnur, via canva.com
Here are three ideas on how to alleviate pain during sex:
The connection with pain cycles
When I first got pain during sex, I felt like it was random. It seemed to just come out of nowhere and I had no connection with why it was happening. Over the years, I worked out two key reasons why my pain would get worse:
- It was something I ate which caused more inflammation in my abdominal area. I worked out that certain foods triggered more pain and inflammation in my abdominal area. These were things like gluten, dairy and any beans.
- I also realized that my pain had cycles. There were certain times of the month when it was almost impossible to have sex! Usually it was around ovulation. For some women it can be before ovulation, after ovulation or before menstruation begins. The key thing is to record and track what your cycle looks like and recognize when those pain days are more prominent. This helps you in your relationship in knowing that there are times when sex is easier but it also helps you to determine what may be triggers for more pain.
The emotional stuff getting in the way
Intimacy and sex are not easy topics to talk to our partners about. It can take a little while to feel truly comfortable and talk openly about this kind of stuff and often times women will hide what they are feeling or thinking. There tends to also be so much guilt around not being able to “provide for your man” in that way.
The act of intimacy and sex is not about giving to your man. It is something you enjoy together. I guess you could say it is like a hobby you do together. It needs to be something you both enjoy and take pleasure in for each other. You don’t do it for him and he shouldn’t do it for you. It is something you come together to enjoy and be together in.
The benefit of having pain is ironically that you do need to talk openly about sex and intimacy. It creates a wonderful bond with your partner to be able to do this!
The more intimate you can make the experience, the better it will be and less likely you will feel any emotional connections with pain or anxiety around having sex.
The hormone connection
When I really get in-depth with my clients about having Endometriosis and their experience with having sex, it is often clear to me that they are simply not getting enough lubrication. This can be caused by a host of reasons but typically hormone treatments being used for their treatment are often a big factor. The contraceptive pill and other hormone treatments tend to lower our sex drive and this is naturally going to make us dry.
When women are not sufficiently lubricated, it inevitably means she will also close up more easily and experience more of the friction type of pain.
Due to these factors it may be advisable for women to look at either getting off the hormone treatments or supplementing to support hormone balance better. Some of the natural ways to gain hormone balance include Damiana Tea and Maca Root Powder.
It may also be advisable to use Vitamin B’s and folic acid if women have or is taking hormone treatments. The interesting thing is that the contraceptive pill depletes many of the most crucial vitamins designed for hormone balance – particularly Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid). *I do recommend seeing a Natural practitioner to establish what levels and how to take these.
You can also get a dietary form of Vitamin B supplements by making a Nutritional Yeast spread or using Nutritional Yeast in your cooking.
I hope you have found these ideas helpful. I have talked extensively about relationships before and truly desire for couples to discover more about how to connect better with each other and reduce painful sex.
Do you struggle to share with your partner? Experience painful sex with your Endometriosis? Do you have any ideas or advice which I haven’t covered? Feel free to share in the comments.
Thank you for this post! We need to continue to have these discussions so the subject becomes less taboo and more women can feel safe speaking up about it. I really encourage any woman with endometriosis experiencing painful sex that is intermittent and all month long to be evaluated by a specialized women’s health physical therapist. Many times, more than endometriosis is at play: dysfunctions of the nerves, muscles, skeletal system, bowel, bladder. PTs are such wonderful first resources. Thanks again!