Uterine fibroids don’t just impact women diagnosed with the condition; they can also impact their partners and relationships. Heavy bleeding, longer periods, constant fatigue and discomfort, enlarged uterus – all of these fibroma symptoms may leave you feeling less self- confident or less interested in intimacy. Fibroids can also cause painful sex.
The technical term for painful sex is “dyspareunia.” There are two types of dyspareunia: superficial and deep. Superficial dyspareunia is pain at the lips, at the opening or lower part of the vagina. Pain is immediate, and usually ceases once intercourse stops. There are many possible reasons for this type of pain.
Deep dyspareunia is pain in the upper part of the vagina, the pelvis or even the thighs. Pain can continue for a while after intercourse. In addition to fibroids, this type of pain can be caused by endometriosis, ovary cysts, inflammation of the bladder, pelvis or bowel.
If uterine fibroids are in the area of the uterus close to the cervix, penetration during intercourse can result in painful sex.
Sometimes, changing the angle of penetration may help. This can be done by changing the angle of the tilt of the woman’s pelvis with the help of a pillow or two underneath her buttocks or by trying a different position.
If the main issue is bleeding, there are a number of strategies that can be tried, but ultimately treating the underlying problem (i.e. the fibroids) will likely be necessary. Fibroids grow with hormones (in particular estrogen). Therefore one can employ an anti-estrogen approach to try to improve the bleeding. While hormones are pervasive in the food (and even water) supply, women can improve bleeding symptoms by limiting or avoiding red meat, non-organic chicken, or dairy.