Endometriosis is a health condition where the lining of the uterus (womb) grows in other places outside the womb, for example, the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes and even parts of the intestines. Endometriosis is a common condition among Nigerian women, as at least 30% of Nigerian women live with it.
Women who live with endometriosis experience serious menstrual cramps, spotting in-between periods and chronic pain even when they’re not on their periods. Aside from the pain experienced, endometriosis can also affect sex life. Since some of the tissues can grow behind the vagina or in-between the vagina and the rectum, affected women can experience intense pain during penetrative sex.
Yeside Olayinka-Agbola, a certified sexual and reproductive health educator of Olori Coitus says that women living with endometriosis don’t have to tolerate the pain. Read on to learn from her tips on having pain-free sex.
1. Track your period
Tracking your period will help you know when sex is most painful for you. Some women find that pain during sex is more pronounced around their periods while others notice the pain when they are ovulating. Knowing this information can help you avoid penetration at this time and focus on other sexual activities.
2. Explore other forms of intimacy
There are different forms of sexual intimacy that don’t include penetration. Try oral sex, sensual massages, mutual masturbation and non-penetrative sex toys.
3. Extend foreplay
Foreplay will help with natural lubrication that will make sex less painful. You can also buy lubricants from pharmacies to help with the pain.
4. Take medication
If you can, take pain relief drugs about an hour before sex to help ease the pain while during intercourse. It goes a long way.
5. Explore sex positions
The missionary position can be very painful for women living with endometriosis. Consider exploring positions where you can control the depth of penetration like when you’re on top, lying side by side, etc.
6. Communicate with your partner
Explain what endometriosis is and how it affects you. Chronic pain during sex can dampen your desire for sex. You might be feeling guilty while your partner might be feeling rejected. Sharing your feelings with each other helps navigate the situation better. It’s best to have these conversations at a neutral time outside the bedroom not when you’re about to have sex.
7. Get help
If you can afford it, see a sex coach or therapist. They can map out coping strategies and navigate how to get the most pleasure for yourself.
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