One conversation that comes around a lot in my advocacy and educational roles is painful sex (dyspareunia).
DO NOT tolerate pain during intercourse, this is dangerous. Ensure there is open communication about Endo pain and sex with your partner and your doctor is aware of what is happening. Please do not suffer in silence.
Penetration and other movements related to intercourse can pull and stretch Endo tissue, particularly if it has grown behind the vagina or lower uterus. Vaginal dryness can also cause this pain
Not everyone that suffers with Endo will experience painful sex, I myself get pain post sex not during. Every one is different and endo affects us all differently. And some may only experience pain during deep penetration
The people that do have painful sex may experience
Acute or stabbong pain
Pain that is deep in the abdomen
Pain ranging from mild to severe
Pulling or stretching feelings
There are things that you can try
having penetrative intercourse at certain times of the month. It may be less painful in the week after ovulation, or in the 2 weeks following a period
sex doesn’t have to mean intercourse. Massage, kissing, mutual masturbation, mutual fondling, and other arousing alternatives to penetration can bring you and your partner closer together without triggering your symptoms
practicing gentle and slow penetration, talk with your partner about slowing down and not thrusting as deeply during intercourse
using plenty of lubricant during sex, some people with endometriosis feel pain during sex because of vaginal dryness or lack of lubrication. Extend foreplay to increase the amount of natural lubrication before penetration
communicating with a partner about what does and does not feel good
having a warm bath or taking a painkiller to ease symptoms before sex
try different positions, experiment and teach yourself and your partner what feels good. Shallow penetration may work best e.g. modified doggy style, spooning, raised hips, face-to-face, or with you on top
plan for potential bleeding by laying down a towel and having wipes near by, this will mean that you aren't focussed on what "what if I bleed" and can relax knowing you are covered if you do
take a dose of painkiller an hour before
The Ohnut is a wearable that customises pentration depth
"Designed with renowned clinicians, Ohnut is a soft compressible buffer made from 4 rings, that can be used together or individually to adjust when penetration feels too deep, without sacrificing sensation for you or your partner."
How to talk with your partner about sex
It may feel intimidating, embarrassing, or otherwise uncomfortable to speak about sex with a partner, but communication is key for a healthy sex life.
Telling a partner when sex is painful and talking about what is and is not pleasurable can make sex more enjoyable for everyone involved, as well as increase feelings of intimacy.
It is important to share feelings, needs, fears, and frustrations around sex. A partner may be experiencing similar feelings, and worry about causing pain or discomfort.
It may be easier to start this conversation in a neutral place outside the bedroom.
Psychosexual Counselling and Therapy (Hampshire, UK)
Psychosexual Counselling is for anyone with sexual problems, regardless of their relationship status, gender identity or sexual orientation.