Endometriosis may occur in up to 10% of women. Endometriosis is present when the tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (womb) occurs outside this layer and in other parts of the body causing pain and/or infertility.
Up to half of women with endometriosis can experience pain during or after sex.
Pain during sex can be caused by a variety of factors, including both physical and mental factors. Depending on the severity of this pain, a woman may experience this upon any type of penetration, including when inserting a tampon.
Deep dyspareunia is the most common type of pain experienced by women during sex with Endometriosis. This can be discomfort or pain with insertion, during thrusting or after intercourse.
The pain with intercourse may be described as sharp, stabbing, jabbing or a deep ache for the woman. It ranges in intensity from mild to excruciating. It may be felt during intercourse, for up to 24–48 hours after intercourse, or both.
Here are some tips that may help:
Make sure you are fully aroused before attempting penetration as it is less likely to cause pain.
Full arousal increases the natural lubrication in the vagina and causes the vagina to lengthen and the cervix to lift further away. Therefore, penetration is less likely to reach deeper, sensitive areas.
Aim to be as relaxed as possible. Enjoy a warm bath, scented candles, soft lighting, anything that helps you relax and enjoy your time together.
If you have reduced natural vaginal lubrication, try a natural lubricant such as olive oil or almond oil.
There are products on the market for this purpose. Some of my favourites are YES water and oil-based lubrication or SYLK which is a water-based lubricant.
Try different positions for intercourse as this will alter the angle of penetration and in turn will alter the sensation of pressure inside your body to other areas. Missionary (man on top) is often more painful. Woman on top is often less painful as the woman can control the depth of penetration easier. Spooning (lying on your side) may also be a more comfortable position.
Sexual penetration during certain times of your menstrual cycle can also affect pain. It may be less painful in the week after ovulation or in the 2 weeks following a period.
It is important to remember that you do not always have to aim for penetration to enjoy a loving sexual relationship.
Ohnut is product that has been developed with the aim to help women who have deep pelvic pain during with penetrative intercourse.
Ohnut is a soft wearable set of rings. It allows you to control depth of penetration for improved comfort. It acts as a buffer between your partners pelvis and your vagina, so your partner won’t go further than you are comfortable with.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic floor physiotherapist have completed training in helping women with pelvic floor conditions such as Endometriosis. They can provide exercise, treatment and management that may help with chronic pelvic pain and painful sex.
If you would like further information, please call Better Health in Annandale 9518 0722.