PCOS and Sex: Your Guide to Potential Challenges and How to Confront Them

You’ve been diagnosed with PCOS. 

You’re experiencing changes in your body that are difficult to navigate and symptoms that are difficult to cope with. 

Don’t worry. 

This is your personal guide to PCOS and sex.

In this guide, we will explain some of the challenges of having PCOS and how to conquer them.

Table of Contents

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal syndrome that affects the ovaries. 

An imbalance of androgen hormones can cause enlarged ovaries, causing eggs to not develop properly or not release during ovulation.

Mainly women of reproductive age are affected by PCOS. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 5 million women of reproductive age suffer from PCOS in the United States.

Symptoms of PCOS

Symptoms of PCOS typically begin to occur during puberty around the time of the first menstruation. However, PCOS can begin to develop later in life in response to certain triggers, like substantial weight gain. 

While symptoms of PCOS may vary, a diagnosis is made when you have at least 2 of these 3 symptoms: 

  • Irregular menstruation. Absence of menstruation, irregular cycles, or prolonged menstruation are the most common signs of PCOS. 
  • High androgen levels. Elevations of male hormones can cause symptoms like excessive body and facial hair, acne, and male-pattern baldness. High androgen levels can also prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg during the menstrual cycle, making pregnancy difficult to achieve.  
  • Polycystic ovaries. Enlarged ovaries with follicles surrounding the eggs can result in dysfunction of the ovaries.

Other common symptoms include: 

    • Weight gain
    • Skin tags on the neck or armpits
    • Dark or thin patches of skin under the breasts, in the armpits, and the back of the neck
    • Infertility
    • Painful sex and sex dysfunction
    • Low libido 

There is no known cure for PCOS, but there are ways that you can manage some of the symptoms. Keep reading to learn how to navigate through PCOS and sex.

Does PCOS Hurt?

Unfortunately, PCOS and pain go hand in hand. 

You may experience pain, cramping, and bloating due to the excess of androgen hormones in your body. 

Because of this hormonal imbalance, female dryness is also an unfortunate symptom of PCOS. Pain during sex is a common issue with women who have PCOS.

These are the types of problems that Chiavaye was created to solve. 

Chiavaye is a 100% natural, vegan sex lube that can help avoid painful sex with PCOS by hydrating vaginal tissue and reducing friction during penetration.

PCOS and Sex: 5 Ways PCOS May Affect Your Sex Life

PCOS and sex can be difficult to navigate. 

This can lead to a lot of frustration with yourself and your sex life.

But the important thing to know is that you are not alone. Millions of women with PCOS are experiencing the same problems.

Let’s talk about 5 ways that PCOS can affect your sex life, and then discuss how you can conquer them.

#1: PCOS and Sex Drive: Low Libido

You’ve felt a disinterest in sex for quite a while. You’re just not feeling it. 

PCOS and loss of libido are like old friends— always in the company of one another.

Research shows that depression and anxiety are highly prevalent in women with PCOS, leading to a loss of sexual desire. Physical changes to the body like obesity and hirsutism can affect your self-esteem and mental health, leading to a decrease in sex drive.

#2: PCOS and Sex: Dysfunction

One of the hallmarks of PCOS is sexual dysfunction. In fact, studies show that 60% of women with PCOS experience it. 

Sexual dysfunction can make it difficult to orgasm, or simply experience arousal from sex. 

Experts conclude that several physical and psychological factors can cause sexual dysfunction with PCOS

  • Imbalance of hormones
  • Obesity
  • Body image issues and low self-esteem
  • Dealing with infertility

These factors can cause stress, making you feel turned off about having sex.

#3: PCOS and Irregular Periods

Imagine: You’ve planned a hot date with your partner.

You’re ready to try on your new lingerie when— surprise! You get an unexpected visit from Aunt Flo. 

High levels of androgens and insulin can disrupt your monthly cycle of ovulation and menstruation, making your periods sporadic and unpredictable. 

Having an irregular menstrual cycle can make it difficult to plan intimacy, causing frustration and stress.

#4: PCOS and Infertility

If you are experiencing PCOS and infertility, you are far from alone.

Research shows that 70-80% of women with PCOS experience infertility. 

Trying to have sex the precise moment you are ovulating and the stress of trying to get pregnant can make sex begin to feel like a chore. 

This can take the pleasure out of having sex and instead, make it more of a task to check off on your ovulation calendar.

#5: PCOS and Pain During Sex

It can be difficult to even think about having sex when you are experiencing painful sex with PCOS.

Hormone imbalance caused by PCOS can lead to female dryness and irritation to the vaginal tissue, making penetration painful. 

A natural lubricant is the best way to rehydrate dry skin and avoid vaginal irritation during sex.

4 Ways to Improve Your PCOS Sex Life

Now that we have discussed all of the challenges that come with PCOS and sex, are you ready for some good news?

There are ways to improve your sex life and avoid painful sex with PCOS.

Let’s dive into 4 ways you can improve your PCOS sex life right now.

#1: Proper Nutritional Diet

Having a proper nutritionall diet can go a long way when it comes to PCOS and sex.

Following the anti-inflammatory diet can help improve PCOS symptoms like fatigue and weight gain. 

Losing weight can help boost your self-esteem and make you more excited to jump into bed with your partner.

#2: Natural Lubricant to Alleviate Painful Sex With PCOS

Even with PCOS, sex doesn’t have to be painful.

A liberal amount of natural lube and a lot of foreplay can help avoid painful sex with PCOS.

Not only can a natural lubcricant like Chiavaye help you avoid painful sex, but it can also make sex more enjoyable.

#3: Pelvic Floor Therapy For PCOS and Pain During Sex

If you experience painful sex from PCOS, physical therapy can help. 

PCOS creates tension and stress in the pelvic area, causing pain.

Pelvic floor therapy can help reduce: 

  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful periods

Reducing pain can help increase your interest in sex and make sex more enjoyable.

#4: Try Different Sex Positions

When it comes to PCOS and sex, not all sex positions are created equal.

While it may require some trial and error, trying different sex positions is worth a shot.

Some positions you can try include: 

  • Missionary with a pillow under your waist to help make penetration easier
  • Being on top so you can have more control over you and your partner’s body
  • Having mutual oral sex 

Some positions, along with the use of a natural lubricant, can make sex less painful so you can enjoy having sex despite your PCOS diagnosis.

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