Ibs and sex

I really really think ibs and sex is very overlooked. No connections are being made between pain during and after sex during ibs flare ups.

I am just writing this post as I hope that it could possibly make even one person feel better.

I had only just been referred to a specialist to see about my trouble with my stomach when I had to go back to my GP as I struggled with alot of pain after sex.

This was pain that would make any period pain or back pain I've ever had seem like a breeze. I would always feel pain comming on 9/10 times during sex.

I would normally have to stop and run to the bathroom as I would flare up in a hot / cold sweat with the feeling of sickness you get when you don't eat. God it was so so painful.

However not thinking this was related to my stomach issues I followed my GPS advice and went to the GUM clinic. As this is similar symptoms of STIs. I had been with my partner several years and we had both been faithful, I knew it wouldn't be that. However I understood they would have to test every sti to rule this out. I had explained I suffered with ibs and took tablets. However the correlation with bowel trouble and painful sex is really really overlooked.

They diagnosed me with Pelvic inflammatory disease. This is basically what they will always diagnose you with if they cannot find anything wrong with you. This means 6 months of strong anti biotics, ones that make you sensitive to sunlight, burn far easily and made me throw up most of time when taking them. Imagine what they do to your insides.

I completed my course of antibiotics 6 months later, still in the same boat. By this point I had basically given up on sex as it was far to painful and embarrassing to carry on. They then tell me to take another 6 months worth of tablets!!

Now a year on, with a new partner I noticed I was getting the same symptoms... So it's definitely me that's the problem.

After realising my ibs symptoms calm down when I don't eat any sort of bread, pasta mainly any bulky wheat products, I have NO pain after sex. Unless I eat alot of wheat that week. This connection between ibs and trigger foods and sex needs to be looked at.

I am just writing this as I hope this reassures some women that having ibs and pain during flare ups is normal! Stressing about it even makes it alot worse!!!

11 Replies

  • Hi,

    I've never written anything on here, but I just wanted to say well done for talking about this issue. Amongst fibromyalgia, arthritis of both hips & IBS I have problems with having sex.(I'm only 38) But the uncomfortable pain I get inside I think you are right about it being related to IBS flare ups, I do find some positions more comfortable (without being too specific) have you experimented with that at all?

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this and doctors just don't seem to be aware of or sometimes care enough about getting to the bottom of things. Don't take anymore antibiotics if they make you so unwell, especially for something they clearly aren't helping with.

    Anyway I don't have any amazing answers, I just wanted to thank you for bringing something so personal for you up in the hope of helping others. 😊

  • Thanks for your reply, it's nice to know that people have similar issues and I'm not the only one as I don't really write things like this!! 😊😊

    I refused to take any more anti biotics and once I was diagnosed with ibs I started to look into the correlation between my two issues.

    I just felt I need to explain that if you get these sorts of symptoms after sex and struggle with any bowel issues, it really could be the food you're eating.

    Most of the time I am 99% ok with sex and I know it's from not eating any trigger foods but if I'm having a flare up, I know it's best to avoid it completely!! I just wish I could go down to the clinic and ask them to try to look at other possibilities first and not just go for the simple easy option of antibiotics!

  • I am finding a huge correlation between IBS, back problems, and pelvic floor dysfunction. When you're back or hips are off, or have been injured, they can cause problems with your pelvic floor muscles. And those are like a web hammock that holds everything up all the way across your body. When anything is going on with those, it can cause problems with your bowels, and your reproductive system, along with several other organ systems. I have scoliosis which causes my hips to be out of alignment. That has caused pelvic floor dysfunction and IBS. My friend has a degenerative disc problem in her lower back. She has severe IBS and constant pelvic pain. So there is definitely a connection with all of it.

  • Definitely!! I forgot to mention pelvic floor also!

    Such a shame it's getting looked over as a separate subject!

  • Gastric problems effect men too.......!

    I am a male aged 59 with IBS all my life and and when I have an attack sometimes prior to having sex with my wife has led to it having to be abandoned..... and the trigger of anticipation stress,excitement, fear of ED , causes the flare up........... and guess what - when the event time passes suddenly the IBS flare is gone and everything with me is fine.....but I missed my appointment with my wife.......oh well maybe next time will be ok.......whenever that may be.....? Luckily we have been married 30 years and she has her own gastric problems and since her hysterectomy 10 years ago...her libido is not high...fortunately we are the same ages and both accept the aging process...which can be soooo disappointing at times as sex goes on the backburner.........

  • I can imagine that would take such a toll on your love life!!

    I feel your pain as it really made me feel low, nice to hear about other people's stories and making me feel not the only one!!

  • I am pleased that we are airing our views on IBS and sex , add to that ,the side effects of the medications which can make us fatigued,in that even if the IBS is in check , the fatigue and ED side effects may lead us to not be up to the job........? May not be a big deal for those in long term relationships,but how about those just starting out in new ones,where sex is a priority.....?

  • You may (or may not) find this article interesting: thesensitivegut.com/2015/11...

  • I did! Definitely worth a read especially about the movement and contraction of the bowel! It makes alot of sense!!

  • This is brilliant and something I can fully relate to.....

  • I've not yet been diagnosed with ibs bit I'm pretty sure it's what I have, I also have difficulty having sex as sometimes I have to run to the toilet in agony n then afterwards I'm back n forth for about n hour. I've been constantly worrying thinking it's something serious so I'm glad I found this site and the comments about it. I feel a little bit more at ease now 😀 x

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