My fellow endo sisters – You get me. You feel me, all too well. Amiright? Or Amiriiiiiight? So unsexy.
The truth is one of endo’s ugly faces shows up in what’s supposed to be one of the most sacred and pleasurable parts of life – sex!
Endo makes making love the most unsexy thing ever.
My unsexy endo story
I recall hating my period so much, the pain was unbearable and my day would go to waste. But guess what, I honestly also liked having it because it was a way to avoid sex.
Yep. That’s where it got to. I would rather have the ugly period, cramps, sweating, poops, nausea (you get the point), just so I could get out of having sex.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My husband is a man, that explains a lot, but he was understanding and always gave me my space. I’m lucky he’s amazing and very empathetic to be honest, I know it’s not always such.
In our case…..It was me.
You see, sex was great until endo was in full force. Then it was often painful, but it wasn’t all the time, just sometimes. We would be in the middle of it and I’d be like “slow down” “ooh – stop” “that hurts” “f**k” and it would just kill the mood.
And if it wasn’t painful that night, for the next day or three, I would be so sore. My husband was excited – she’s feeling good, we can do it again. And I’m planting seeds all day – I’m sore, last night got to me, it’s flaring.
And then there was just not wanting it. I have no idea why, but even when it was good, my mood was off and I just didn’t want it. Sounds crazy to some, for me, it was the norm.
So, between the pain and the soreness and just not being in the mood. Our sex life was going down the drain.
I felt like crap. Full of guilt. I created this narrative in my head that made me want to avoid it and fill myself of guilt that I actually chose my period to avoid the whole thought in my own head.
Does that resonate? I know I’m not alone.
Hold on a second…..Did I mention we were trying to have a baby too?
Oops. I guess that’s what made it that much more complicated. Because on Days 11 to 14 I actually initiated sex and we used certain positions (like every woman that’s had even the smallest infertility journey). I would not care if I was sore if it hurt, and my husband knew my motives, but gladly took part.
So sexy eh?
Not so much.
So, now that I have shared way too much and need to make sure I block my husband from my blog before his face goes red, I’m gonna talk about what I did about it.
Why is sex painful with endometriosis?
Painful sex is a common symptom given the areas endometriosis can embed itself in our pelvis and the increased inflammation. There are often adhesions and nerves that can further make this area, in general, more sensitive and hence sex is getting right up in there. The pressure is an easy trigger for the pain for many women.
In addition to the endometriosis, adhesions and inflammation there are a few other factors common in women with endometriosis. Cysts, which often occurs in women with endo, can exacerbate the pain and flare up. Constipation and having bowels backed up will not make sex any more enjoyable – and with endo, the endo bloat or thyroid related constipation (common in endo) – this only adds to the discomfort.
How I got rid of the pain so I could enjoy sex again
When my diet changes were regular and I had done my endo cleanse, enjoying sex was one of the ways I knew I was better inside without surgery or ultrasounds.
If internal pressure that felt like stabbing at times felt completely amazing….I knew my insides were better. I could tell the inflammation was down given I wasn’t sore the next day.
For me, the biggest win was the emotional relief. That my relationship with my husband wouldn’t have this big void in it. The guilt hurt more than the sex and to not have this was more important to me than my husband.
This was beyond avoiding the triggers of dairy and wheat. Those helped for sure, but I needed to go deeper into my pelvic pain.
What do I think were the biggest factors in reducing this pain for me?
- Eating foods that supported my hormones – specifically the cruciferous veggies and sea vegetables. Together these are a powerhouse that supports good estrogen balancing and thyroid health. Our thyroid is critical in reproductive health and our overall metabolism. Daily intake of these was a game changer.
- Omega 3 supplementation – I took both EPA and GLA at various times in my cycle and found an immense shift in my pain within weeks. Our diet is low in Omega 3 and for women with endometriosis, inflammation is already high and the extra supplementation can definitely help.
- Castor oil packs – Using this magic oil to help break down the cysts and the adhesions was like a god sent. Not to mention the bowel movements became pretty damn awesome with regular use of castor oil.
- Self-love – At some point in my journey I went deep into how I hated my periods and my body. And I realized that hating my lady parts was not giving them the love and energy they needed in order to heal. I committed to appreciating myself and my body for all that it does and let go of the war I had with my own pelvis. Being besties is so much better.
Love and relationships are the biggest part of life. Loving ourselves despite challenges is not easy, but it’s the first step so that we can then have strong and loving relationships with others.
If your sex life is as unsexy as endo made mine, know there is hope. Even with the scheduling and positioning and pain – we survived those years. But, even better, I made changes and did the emotional work to get my body relief and the freedom to enjoy sex, and it’s never been better (just saying 😉 ).
Yep,I said that. An endo sister, can actually want and enjoy sex 😉
And for those of you who haven’t met me – Hi! I’m Khush, Endo Empress over @endonutrition on instagram and coach to hundreds of women with endometriosis in my community.
If you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, be sure to today.
Our Endo Empress Tribe is a private client community for those looking for guided programs to get relief from endometriosis pain. I give you the step by step program and meals, based on the science and what I did. Its only open twice a year and the Fall registration closes November 5th – So don’t miss out. Email me with questions firstname.lastname@example.org