In the UK, one in every ten women of reproductive age has endometriosis; worldwide, this number is as much as 176 million. That means for too many of us, sex can be a painful practice. Fortunately, even those with endo don’t have to suffer to make love, as several positions can mitigate this pain and bring the joy back to sex.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a medical condition in which the cells that make up the endometrium, or uterine lining, grows outside the uterus. This lining often attaches itself to the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the body’s pelvic tissue.
Endometriosis can take a long time to diagnose, but as the symptoms become better understood, many endo sufferers are getting answers much sooner.Typical symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pelvic pain
- Severe menstrual cramping
- Very heavy periods
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain during and after intercourse
- Pain with bowel movements or urination
- Gastrointestinal issues
The five best sex positions for endometriosis
When engaging in sexual intercourse as a person with endometriosis, the key is to stay away from positions involving deep penetration and aggressive thrusting. Sorry to all those who like it a little more on the rough side - if you have endo, it’s best to be gentle. Otherwise, try taking a pain-reliever or anti-inflammatory at least one hour before sex to minimise potential pain.
Here are some positions to try if you have endometriosis:
For those who feel alone all the way on top, the lotus position can provide a little intimacy. Instead of a classic cowgirl, your partner will sit up, giving you the opportunity for a more gentle, romantic embrace as well as power and control.
2. Face-to-Face/ Sideways Missionary
If being on top isn’t for you, then you can always take it sideways. The face-to-face or sideways missionary position is exactly what it sounds like; it’s missionary on its side. This position will soften the angle of penetration while providing the intimacy of face-to-face contact.
3. Reverse Cowgirl
Both cowgirl and reverse cowgirl are tried and true classics for a reason. They’re hot, they feel great, and for women with endo, it puts them in control of the speed and depth of penetration. Reverse cowgirl is just the same as regular cowgirl, except you’re facing away from your partner, giving them a full view of the back. But, you may want to do some cardio training as cowgirl and reverse cowgirl can be hard on the thighs.
4. Spooning Sex
If you’re a fan of a cuddly spoon, then this position is for you. Spooning sex is just the same as sideways missionary, except you’re facing away from your partner, giving them the opportunity for both penetration and an intimate cuddle. While many suggest bending your knees similar to a foetal position, lying your legs out long and straight will provide a shallower angle.
5. Modified Doggy Style
Who said people with endometriosis couldn’t enjoy sex from behind?
If the classic doggy-style position proves to be too painful, there’s an easy modification you can try. Instead of being on your knees, try lying on your stomach and have your partner lay on top, entering from behind.
Don’t forget to explore sex alternatives
Painful sex can make anyone scared to try new positions. But, don’t forget there are other ways to enjoy your partner, such as non-penetrative sex or sex toys. Oral sex, clitoral sucking sex toys, an Ohnut, and even hand-play can all help you achieve a pain-free orgasm with your partner.
People with endo may also find their vagina is a little drier due to hormones and stress, so make sure to use a lubricant.