Endometriosis: Painful Sex - A List Of Possible Causes And 5 Steps To Provide Relief

If endometriosis plays a part in your daily life, then it will come as no surprise that painful sex can be expected. 

This can be discouraging and can even come between you and your partner.

Knowing why sex it painful is the first step to taking back your sex life. And knowing what you can do to make sex amazing again is just the cherry on top.

If you aren’t sure you have endometriosis, but suddenly sex has become painful you may be asking yourself: “Can sex cause endometriosis?”  

The short answer is no. 

In this guide, we will explore all of the causes of endometriosis and address the all-important topic of making sex enjoyable again.

Can Sex Cause Endometriosis?

Any woman that suffers from endometriosis may fear the idea of sexual intimacy and avoid it at all costs. 

But, can sex trigger endometriosis?

One day you’re having great sex, then suddenly you begin to experience pain during intercourse. You’ve never felt like this before, so what happened?

You find yourself on the internet looking up painful sex and one word keeps coming up over and over: endometriosis.

Could you have caused endometriosis by having sex?

Medically speaking, no. 

The best thing you can do is book an appointment with your doctor to find out the cause of pain during sex.

If you’re diagnosed with endometriosis it was not caused by the sex you’ve been having. 

And don’t worry, there are ways to make sure you can have a healthy and happy sex life again.

What Causes Endometriosis?

So, if it wasn’t the sex, then how did you end up with this thing called endometriosis? 

When endometrial tissue grows on your bowel, ovaries, or tissues lining your pelvis, endometriosis occurs. 

During your menstrual cycle, hormonal changes cause inflammation and pain, and eventually, the tissue breaks down and becomes trapped in your pelvis.

The trapped tissue can cause:

  • Irritation
  • Scar formation
  • Severe pain during periods
  • Fertility problems
  • Pain and discomfort during sex

Pelvic pain is the most common indicator of endometriosis, but if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should speak to your doctor:

  • Painful menstruation
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Cramps one or two weeks surrounding your period
  • Infertility
  • Painful sex
  • Uncomfortable bowel movements
  • Chronic pelvic pain

Endometriosis affects about 10% of women during their reproductive years, but can also start as early as a girl’s first period.

While there is no known cause of endometriosis, it may be more likely to affect women:

  • Who have a genetic predisposition (mother, sister, aunt with endometriosis)
  • Who have never had children
  • With long menstrual periods (more than seven days)
  • With short menstrual cycles (less than 27 days)
  • That have a health issue that may be obstructing normal flow of menstrual blood

If you have two or more symptoms, regular gynecological appointments are important to allow your doctor to monitor changes. 

Most importantly, talk to your doctor about the different ways you can take care of your health if you are diagnosed with endometriosis.

Can You Have Intercourse With Endometriosis?

Having sex with endometriosis may seem undesirable, and many women will go out of their way to avoid it.

It may seem that no matter what your partner does, sex always results in pain, both physical and emotional.

The good news is that women with endometriosis can have sex, and not only is it perfectly safe, but it can be enjoyable too.

Keep reading to uncover the reasons why your endometriosis causes painful sex, and what you can do to feel confident about getting back under the sheets with your partner.

Endometriosis: Pain During Sex

Painful sex is a highly personal matter and many women find it difficult to discuss with their partner or even doctor.

However, if you are experiencing endometriosis pain with sex it’s important to discuss this symptom for the good of your physical health.

Did you know that about two-thirds of women with endometriosis will experience some form of sexual dysfunction?

Knowing all the facts can help your doctor diagnose and find the right treatment for your endometriosis and ultimately, improve your sex life.

Why Does Endometriosis Cause Painful Sex?

The pain experienced during sex can be different for every woman.

Some have reported feeling:

  • Stabbing or shooting pain
  • Deep and widespread pain
  • Mild or dull pain
  • Pain only with deep penetration
  • Pain with any type of penetration
  • Pain that lasts for hours or days after sex

You may be wondering, “Can endometriosis cause bleeding during sex?” or even, “Could endometriosis cause bleeding after sex?”

The penetration and movements of sexual intercourse can cause stretching of the endometrial growths, thus causing discomfort and possibly bleeding during sex.

Vaginal dryness is another cause of dyspareunia (painful sex) as the lack of fluid can lead to pain during entry.

It’s important to speak to your partner if you experience irritation. Many women refrain from telling their partners for fear it will affect their intimate relationship.

The anxiety or anticipation of pain during sex can cause physical tension and increase the risk of pain. Talking to your partner about your needs in advance can help reduce this tension.

5 Steps To Provide You With Relief If Sex Is Causing You Endometriosis Pain

Sex should be fun. You want to be able to enjoy it, and guess what? 

You can.

We’ve listed five ways you can reduce anxiety, increase your sex drive, and reclaim your sex life for good.

1. Timing

While you may experience constant pain or discomfort caused by your endometriosis, the pain can be considerably worse during your period.

Keeping track of your cycle will give you a better understanding of what time of the month your pain is at its worst, and when you’re more likely to be pain-free.

You could create your own menstrual calendar or download a free menstrual tracking app to help you stay on top of your best days.

2. Lubrication

Vaginal dryness is a common side effect of endometriosis. 

Some women find that using lube every time is necessary to avoid painful penetration.

Using lubrication during both foreplay and intercourse can greatly reduce your chances of having pain.

Chiavaye is an all-natural vegan lube that uses only hypoallergenic ingredients that have been chosen to nourish and benefit your most delicate skin.

3. Try Different Positions

The pain caused by certain sexual positions is enough to turn some women off of the idea of sex altogether. 

While it will be unique to each woman, missionary is said to be one of the most painful because of the tilt of your uterus and depth of penetration.

Taking the time to experiment with different positions will give you and your partner a better idea of what works best for you.

It will vary from person to person, but many women prefer to be on top as it gives them control over the depth and speed of penetration. 

Some other positions that allow for shallow penetration include:

  • Spooning
  • Modified Missionary (using a pillow to tilt your pelvis)
  • Doggy style with shallow penetration

Make it fun, and remember to relax. You can do this.

4. Alternatives To Intercourse

Yes, sex is fun and we all want to be able to enjoy it freely and without pain.

But if you have endometriosis, you know this isn’t always possible and sometimes sex just doesn’t sound appealing.

Talk to your partner about other ways you can find sexual pleasure in each other, such as:

  • Oral sex
  • Mutual masturbation
  • Massaging
  • Kissing
  • Mutual fondling

Experimenting with alternatives to intercourse can provide relief to both you and your partner and allow you to explore the many levels of intimacy.

5. Pain Relievers Before Sex

If you’ve planned intimacy, taking an over the counter pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen about an hour before can help alleviate some of the discomfort caused by penetration.

As directed, you may want to take pain relievers after sex as well.

The Nitty-Gritty

Your sex-life may not have caused your endometriosis, but your endometriosis sure has affected your sex-life.

But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

Armed with the right tools, and an open and honest conversation with your partner, you can start to enjoy, and even desire, sex again.

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