Endometriosis UK
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Can we talk about sex please??

So I've just been scrolling through the posts on here re:painful sex. Intercourse has been painful for as long as I can remember but recently it's got a lot worse. My husband and I haven't even been married a year yet but I do feel like the difficulty in having sex is affecting our marriage. I do try every now and again and just "grin and bear it" for his sake, but he always ends up feeling guilty and I guess I do slightly resent how much he can enjoy sex when I'm just not able to. The lack of intimacy has left us feeling more like housemates than husband and wife!

Anyway, my question to you lovely ladies is, what sort of pain during/after sex does endo cause for you?? Can you describe it as best as you can? Please give me as much info as possible- no such thing as oversharing here!!! I just want to make sure that my pains are endo related or whether I could have something else wrong with me 🙄

Thanks lovelies xx

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Hi :)

I’m stage 4 endo and do experience pain during sex, particularly with positions which are deeper. However I was also diagnosed with vaginismus which was diagnosed when the child-sized speculum the nurse inserted to do an internal exam popped out and flew accross the room as my muscles clamped down on it with such force 😂 to combat some of the symptoms of vaginismus such as pain during sex and arousal, I had a course of Botox injections which basically froze the muscles and it really helped and worked amazingly well. I think only some gynaecologists are trained and know how to use it as I had a fab one in the West Midlands who did it for me but my current consultant doesn’t.

However my partner and I (been together 8 years) don’t have penetrative sex very often (perhaps once or twice a month) but we do give each other oral sex a lot which we both enjoy and so have found a way to still be intimate without causing me pain. So we both still consider to have a good sex life even though it’s not a ‘normal’ one. :) xxxx

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Hi, I'll apologise for the detail now!

I initially presented to the doctors with pain and bleeding during sex and using penetrative toys, kind of like a sharp stabbing pain around my cervix. I thought the heavy periods and pain during that was just normal. They had a look and treated me for cervical ectropion - cells further up the cervix appear at the base, as these are more sensitive they can be rubbed raw and bleed. That's fine now.

However I still had a kind of deeper pain during sex like it was pushing up my uterus. It would only be in certain positions; woman on top or doggystyle where my hubby was all the way in. It was better after I'd had orgasms, as I think I probably didn't feel it as much, and it wasn't too bad when he wasn't extremely turned on (you know the normal hard not the crazy haven't done anything for aaaages hard). The pain lasted after sex and for the next 24 hours ish kind of like a period pain, which made my hubby feel guilty.

I had a lap which they found severe endo (don't know the stage, that seems to be a US grading system), that was all over my uterus and bladder, also stuck my uterus to my bladder and bowel, this was all removed in the same op. Due to the pain during sex they also did a hysteroscopy and visual examination of my labia and vagina. These showed that I had a flat pubic arch which makes the vagina tight at the front due to the flat bone just on the inside, and can hurt when rubbed too much. The pain is a lot less and more manageable, it doesn't hurt so much during sex anymore (unless its particularly rough / frustrated, you get what I mean) but I still get the achey pain after sex. I am definitely glad I had the lap to remove as much as they could find, the flat pubic arch; we make sure I've had an orgasm first so I'm wetter.

Sex is important in our relationship, it always has been so if it doesn't feel right we both get upset; we need the closeness, it's about two to three times a week. We've learned to appreciate each other, just be intimate, enjoy the time together, have more sex toys to take the pressure of performing and just helping each other out, then if penetration happens I think we're that turned on we don't actually notice and the deep stuff can be slower. Sometimes it's just really slow and close and nice so it isn't deep enough to cause pain. We have a word for stopping when my pain is too much, so there's an element of trust

My suggestions would be, go back to basics; appreciate each other, be comfortable naked, hold each other, just enjoy the closeness, have fun teasing and exploring and turning each other on, don't place emphasis on the penetration but more on the foreplay and non penetrative ways of reaching orgasm. Explore playing and giving each other orgasms that way, use toys if it helps, understand each others body movements when turned on, so he knows if something does hurt without you saying. Just take it slowly, and experiment with angles and depth. Don't get frustrated with yourself if something hurts, just take it easy and go back to what didn't hurt, take it from there. Getting frustrated makes you stressed and is something that will make the pain worse. Above all have giggles! Seriously that is great for pain relief :)

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