Is sex a pain? It might be the fault of uterine fibroids

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Uterine fibroids don’t just impact you as an individual; they can also impact your intimate relationships.

Physical Pain

The technical term for pain during sex is “dyspareunia.” There are two types of dyspareunia: superficial and deep.

Superficial dyspareunia is pain at the lips, opening or lower part of the vagina. Pain is immediate, and usually ceases once intercourse stops. Possible causes are vaginal dryness, scar tissue from childbirth, swelling of vaginal glands, vaginismus (involuntary contraction of vaginal muscles upon contact), vulvodynia (hypersensitivity of vulva tissue) or lichen sclerosus (a scarring skin condition).

Deep dyspareunia is pain in the upper part of the vagina, the pelvis or even the thighs. Pain can continue for minutes or hours after intercourse. Possible causes include endometriosis, ovary cysts, inflammation of the bladder, pelvis or bowel… and uterine fibroids.

A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine surveyed 827 women ages 35-49. 63% had fibroids. Of those who had fibroids, 22% had experienced deep dyspareunia over the past year. If the fibroids were in the upper part of their uterus, the chance that the woman would have experienced deep dyspareunia was greater.

If uterine fibroids are in the area of the uterus close to the cervix, penetration during intercourse can cause extreme discomfort.

Decrease in Libido

Experiencing such pain can seriously impact your enjoyment of sex when it happens – and your desire to have it at all. It’s totally understandable, but nevertheless, it takes a toll on your relationship.

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

You can get an idea if painful sex might be caused by fibroids by seeing how it fits in with other symptoms using our Symptom Checker.

If painful sex is a result of uterine fibroids, it CAN be treated and improved.