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Painful Sex As A Result Of Endometriosis — an article on the Smart Living Network
March 18, 2009 at 7:30 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Painful Sex As A Result Of Endometriosis

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Endometriosis

The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. The endometrial cells are very responsive to hormones. During the monthly cycle, rising estrogen levels stimulate the endometrium to thicken. Then, when progesterone levels increase during ovulation, this lining becomes secretory in preparation for the implantation of a fertilized egg. If fertilization does not occur, progesterone levels drop off and the uterine lining sloughs off. Sometimes, endometrial tissue grows in places outside the uterus. Typically, this occurs on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or other pelvic tissues, but sometimes endometrial tissue can be found as far away as the eyes or lungs. This condition is known as endometriosis. No one knows what causes endometriosis. A back-flow of menstrual blood, living endometrial cells entering the circulatory system and getting transplanted into other parts of the body, or spontaneous mutations in abnormal cells have all been posited as explanations for this strange occurrence. This abnormal endometrial tissue still responds to hormonal fluctuations. It thickens and bleeds every month. Unlike normal endometrial tissue, however, this blood does not have a convenient exit. Over time, this old blood builds up and can cause painful complications. Surrounding tissues can become irritated, and sometimes cysts form. This condition often leads to pain, usually during the time of the monthly menses, but sometimes it can appear at other times of the month or simply never go away.

How Does Endometriosis Cause Pain During Sex?

Since extra-uterine pockets of endometrial tissue usually form in the pelvic cavity, they can cause pain during sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia. Inflamed tissues hurt with the contact of intercourse, and if the penis makes contact with the wrong spot, the pain can be excruciating. Sometimes, endometrial tissue can grow into the uterus, a condition known as adenomyosis. This causes the uterus to become extremely sensitive and the bumping of intercourse can be agonizing. Endometriosis can also cause sexual pain indirectly, through the formation of ovarian cysts.

Endometriomas

Endometriomas are blood filled cysts of endometrial tissue that form on the ovaries. These cysts can be painful either all the time or only during intercourse. Vigorous thrusting can also break cysts, causing bleeding into the pelvic cavity and the organs there. This can be extraordinarily painful. If you suspect a cyst, see a doctor to get an examination. Pain during intercourse can be caused by several other conditions, but it is one of the hallmarks of endometriosis. If you experience unexplained dyspareunia, even without other symptoms, you should see your gynecologist to get checked out. If the pain is due to endometriosis, there are ways in which it can be treated.

How Can Endometriosis be Treated?

Endometriosis doesn't have to cause pain, during sex or otherwise. Hormone therapy can effectively control symptoms in the vast majority of women. Using an oral contraceptive regularly for a long time is enough in most cases. Women who don't get relief from that can try prescription medications that stop the body from producing the hormones that regulate the ovarian cycle. Without these hormones, ovulation stops, and with it, the monthly ebb and flow of endometrial tissue, wherever its location. Finally, surgery may be an option for women who have exhausted all other possibilities. Sometimes, conservative surgeries can remove endometrial tissues without damaging the reproductive organs, but in some cases the uterus and ovaries may need to be removed.

[sniplet Endovin]

Sources: http://www.marilynglenville.com/general/endometriosis.htm http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/sex_relationships/facts/painfulintercourse.htm http://www.sexwithoutpain.com/gyn_problems.htm

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1 Comment

  • I've had two surgeries for endometriosis, have taken Bc pills non-stop for decades, and still suffer from from pain that can be extreme at times. When this article states that "endometriosis doesn't have to cause pain during sex or otherwise..." they are lying. The sad truth is that for many if us with endometriosis pain becomes a daily part of our lives. There is currently no cure. Doctors don't even know the cause. The truth is that we can do everything "right" and still suffer. I do my best and try to keep positive, but I feel that sometimes these well-meaning writers create a sense of false-hope and un-realistic expectations in sufferers.

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