You know your journey with endometriosis, but explaining it to a doctor or friend can be difficult — let alone trying to communicate the pain to your intimate partner.
Learning how to explain endometriosis pain to a guy can feel like communicating in an entirely different language.
Our guide will outline concrete steps you can take to tackle the question, “What does endometriosis feel like?” so you can manage the condition together as a team.
Table of Contents
- What Makes Explaining Endometriosis Pain to a Guy So Difficult?
- Endo Is an Invisible Disease
- Endo Is Difficult To Relate To
- How to Describe Endometriosis Pain to a Man: A 4-Step Process
What Makes Explaining Endometriosis Pain to a Guy So Difficult?
Ask any expert (or anyone in a successful relationship for that matter) and they’ll tell you communication is key to a healthy union.
But communicating your wants and needs is an entirely different ballgame than trying to explain the pain you experience living with endometriosis.
Sharing the symptoms and side effects you live with can be a useful tool in getting your partner to understand the condition.
Sometimes, though, getting your significant other to understand the emotional and internal struggles you battle is the bigger hurdle.
Endo Is an Invisible Disease
While someone with endo may look completely fine from a man’s perspective, they’re often fighting a lot of internal pain.
But, it’s impossible for someone to be able to gauge your level of discomfort from the outside.
Your significant other might not have any idea what you’re going through — so it’s up to you to communicate that.
Endo Is Difficult To Relate To
Men can’t experience this pain so it’s hard for them to make an empathetic connection.
It’s similar to describing the pain of childbirth or if you suffer from bad or severe period pain.
- Endometriosis pain can vary from day to day or morning to night
- Symptoms and severity differ for every woman
- There is no known cause or cure; and
- Pain, in general, can be difficult to describe
... effectively communicating your scope and range of endo pain to your significant other may be challenging.
How to Describe Endometriosis Pain to a Man: A 4-Step Process
It’s an unfortunate truth that men won’t be able to truly understand what endo pain feels like.
And opening up the conversation about your endo pain can be overwhelming.
Where should you start?
It’s okay if you’re worried that your significant other won’t understand. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to try to help them grasp the impact that endo has on your life.
Knowing the condition yourself and planning out what you’re going to say will help make the experience more successful for both of you.
Step #1: Educate Yourself
The best way to describe any condition is to truly understand it and be able to answer questions.
So, before you sit your guy down for a talk, educate yourself.
Read up on symptoms — and not just the ones you are currently experiencing.
This way, you’ll be able to communicate the range of endo side effects in case your pain level or symptoms change.
If you haven’t already, talk to your doctor to find out what treatment is recommended for you and how that treatment can help you.
It’s also a good plan, depending on your relationship, to be prepared to talk about your long-term outlook, including whether or how endometriosis affects your fertility.
Step #2: Be Patient
When you’re in the thick of managing your endo pain, it can be easy to forget that your partner is also working to help you cope.
They may also be juggling many of the same emotions you have, including:
In order to hedge your bets at effectively communicating your pain to your partner, make time for the two of you to sit down and have a conversation.
Share that you want to talk about endometriosis and set yourself up for success by setting aside cell phones and turning off the TV.
Clear and open communication is most effective when you’re in a quiet environment free from distractions.
It’s good to acknowledge that your pain may not be perfectly explained the first time… or the third.
It may be that a man may never truly understand, but that doesn’t mean he can’t acknowledge your pain and work to support you through it.
Step #3: Explain That Endo Pain Is Not Isolated to Reproductive Organs
When you’re thinking about how to describe endometriosis pain, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin, since endo pain doesn’t just affect your reproductive organs.
Some women may also experience pain in their:
- Neck; or
Painting the full picture of endo pain and highlighting the range of trouble spots can help give your partner a clearer, more realistic, look into your life.
Abdominal pain is widely known as the most common symptom of endometriosis.
- Adhesions; and
…of endometrial tissue in the pelvic region can cause excruciating or debilitating pain in the abdomen.
It can vary from sporadic pains to chronic discomfort.
- Discomfort; and
...can all occur in your abdomen due to the inflammation caused by the build-up of the endometrial-like tissue.
Endometriosis can lead to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which in turn, can trigger bloating because of the imbalance in the amount of bacteria in your intestinal tract.
Pain felt during sex (medically known as dyspareunia) is also a common symptom for women with endo.
Vaginal pain may occur due to the stretching and pulling of endometrial tissues during penetration and other movements.
But, you know what could help? The right lubricant.
Instead of using a lube that is full of toxic ingredients that throw off your Ph level, opt for an all-natural lubricant.
Chiavaye is your way to:
- Overcome vaginal dryness
- Reduce painful sex related to endometriosis; and
- Start enjoying time with your man again.
Endometriosis can also sometimes grow on your sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatic endo.
Back and leg pain together could be attributed to sciatic endometriosis.
While many men and women suffer from chronic back pain, endo-related back pain will be distinct.
Endo back pain:
- Doesn’t go away with medication or chiropractic care.
- Can be sharp and stabbing.
- Is caused when the endometrium sticks to the lower back.
- Isn’t relieved by changing position or moving around.
Leg pain associated with endo is often described as a sharp, burning pain that radiates from the abdomen through the buttocks and down through the leg.
The severity may range from sporadic leg cramps to steady, throbbing pains.
Walking or exercising may become extremely painful due to the adhesions to the sciatic nerve.
Step #4: Explain What the Pain Prevents You From Doing
Endometriosis pain can severely impact your quality of life, including:
- Family; and
- Other relationships.
Explaining how endometriosis negatively affects your life will give your significant other a true picture of your condition.
Coping with endo pain can leave you feeling exhausted, but especially bad days can deplete your ability to do daily tasks like:
- Being social
- Enjoying intimacy
If you find yourself struggling with intimacy due to your endometriosis, know that you’re not alone.
My own struggle with endometriosis led me to create Chiavaye so that I could help women just like you.
Sharing the days you feel good and the days you’re in pain with your significant other will allow you to build the foundation you need to successfully manage your condition together.