When you have fibroids, sex with your partner can hurt. This is especially true if you have large and or numerous fibroids. Not surprisingly, this pain may make you less excited about sex—you may want to stop having intercourse altogether. In other instances, pain may not be the only problem. Depending on the size or location of your fibroid, these tumors may make you appear to have gained weight, or even look slightly pregnant, possibly impacting your self-esteem and feelings of attractiveness.
If your partner feels personally rejected because he or she doesn’t understand what you’re going through, the change in intimacy may become a source of conflict, If, however, you are able to have an open, honest discussion about uterine fibroids and painful intercourse, you’ll help your partner understand what you’re experiencing, and hopefully become intimate together on an even deeper level.
Painful Intercourse with Uterine Fibroids
Every woman has different fibroid symptoms, but extremely painful sex is often associated with fibroids. That pain may be caused by pressure from the fibroids, vaginal dryness, or even hormonal changes. Even harder to explain to your partner? Your fibroid pain likely isn’t consistent. Certain positions, and certain times in the month, will affect the discomfort you experience, but this can also make it harder for your partner to know how best to approach intimacy.
4 Tips to Use When Discussing Fibroids and Sex with Your Partner
It’s important to remember: your partner might not understand what you’re dealing with or why you’re avoiding getting physical—that’s why open communication is crucial. Explain to your partner what you feel during sex, or if you’re just anxious about sex in general. Tell your partner how you are feeling, and make sure you discuss his or her feelings, too.
We know that talking about sex and intimacy can be uncomfortable, so we’re here to help. Here are a few suggestions for making this conversation a little less difficult to jump into:
Before you sit down to talk, do your research: Your partner will probably have lots of questions about your fibroid diagnosis and how it will continue to affect your body. To give the most effective and honest answers, be prepared with knowledge. Your fibroid specialists should be happy to help you with this portion of your experience.
Once you know enough about your condition, it’s time to get talking. You should:
- Choose the ‘when’ wisely: Don’t start a conversation when either of you is upset or short on time. Make a date to sit down and talk, letting your partner know you want to discuss your health in a private, relaxed setting.
- Open Up: Be as real as possible about all the symptoms you are experiencing. Then you and your partner can try to determine the best way to help manage your symptoms and support you through your experiences.
- See the Other Side: Of course, you are the one dealing with a serious medical condition, but it’s important to recognize that your partner may be frightened as well. Make sure to really listen to what your partner is feeling or experiencing in the wake of your diagnosis.
Moving forward: Fibroid Treatments
While there are several surgical treatments available for uterine fibroids, women who eventually wish to become pregnant may prefer a non-surgical treatment that won’t impact the uterus. While it’s important to review all treatment options with your doctor, make sure that you and your health care provider discuss Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), one alternative to surgery.
During UFE, a thin catheter is threaded into the blood vessels that feed the fibroid. Then, tiny, medical-grade plastic particles are injected into the blood vessels, blocking the blood supply and causing the fibroid to shrink and die.
Ideal UFE candidates:
- Have fibroids that are causing heavy bleeding.
- Have fibroids that are causing pain or pressing on the bladder or rectum.
- Don’t want to have a hysterectomy.
- Don’t want to have children in the future
According to recent studies, one year after having UFE, women with painful uterine fibroids saw an improvement in their sex lives and significant symptom relief a year. To learn if you’re a candidate for UFE, we invite you to schedule a consultation at our Houston Fibroids office.