Many women with endometriosis experience pain during sex — but that doesn't mean you should avoid intercourse. Here are a few solutions that will help make sex satisfying again.
According to a recent study by researchers in Italy, more than half of all women with endometriosis experience intense pain during sex. What’s more, women who have such pain have a difficult time talking about the problem with their partners, making it even more frustrating.
Some women are even too embarrassed to talk about sexual pain with their ob-gyns. But because pain during sex is often an early sign of endometriosis, letting it go unchecked can mean a delay in diagnosis and treatment.
Endometriosis occurs when the type of tissue normally lining the uterus (the endometrium) starts growing outside the uterus. It’s the location rather than the size of the endometriosis lesions that typically determines the amount of pain you may feel during sex. If the endometriosis is behind the vagina and the lower part of the uterus and is affecting uterine nerves or ligaments, it’s likely to cause more pain as sexual thrusting pushes and pulls the growths.
The pain can vary from mild to unbearable, from sharp and stabbing to deep and widespread. You might feel pain with penetration of any kind, or with only very deep penetration. Worse still is that the pain can last beyond intercourse itself, for up to two days in some women.
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