Fibroids and Sex
Uterine fibroids can affect more than just your physical well-being. They can play a role in your emotional relationships and sexual health by causing painful or uncomfortable sex. Although you may be shy about discussing it, uterine fibroids and sex shouldn’t be a taboo topic, since they impact a large subset of women between 30 and 50.
Sex with Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are common, benign tumors made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They form on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids typically affect women during their childbearing years, with as many as 70 to 80% affected by the time they turn 50.
Common fibroid symptoms include heavy periods, severe cramps, low energy levels, and, as mentioned above, painful sex. The severity of symptoms varies based on the number, size, and location of the fibroids; some women don’t experience any symptoms at all, while others find them debilitating.
Fibroids are classified based on location. Common types include:
- Submucosal – Fibroids located in the center of the uterus along the lining. These cause heavy periods.
- Subserosal – Fibroids on the outer surface of the uterus. These push on your pelvic nerves and cause pain, increased urination, and trouble sleeping.
- Intramural – Fibroids in the muscle between the submucosal and subserosal regions. They cause bleeding, pain, or both depending on how they grow.
Can Fibroids Make Sex Painful?
Unfortunately, yes. Along with causing pain, sex with fibroids can be difficult or unappealing due to other issues, as well. Here are some ways that uterine fibroids can impact your sex life:
- Pain during sex
- Pelvic pain or intense pressure
- Heavy or painful menstruation
- Negative body image due to protruding belly or abdomen
- Bleeding after sex
Why Do Fibroids Cause Pain During Intercourse?
Uterine fibroids located near the cervix are often the underlying cause behind painful sex. Pressure placed on these fibroids during intercourse can cause anything from mild discomfort to severe pain. For some, friction can also be a factor.
Positioning can affect your level of pain during sex with fibroids. It may be helpful to experiment with different sexual positions to see if there is one in which you might find more comfortable. Keep in mind that communication is key; although it may feel awkward, we encourage you to talk openly with your partner.
Sex with fibroids can cause other issues as well, including bleeding afterward, which can be messy and embarrassing. For women with fibroids that cause visible abdominal swelling, a negative body image and the loss of sexual desire are also common symptoms.
Fibroids can cause heavy or painful periods that may last for days to weeks, interfering with sexual activity. After all, it’s really no surprise that you’re not feeling romantic when you’re constantly dealing with heavy menstrual bleeding, cramps, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Some women with fibroids experience anemia from the loss of blood through menstruation; therefore, any strenuous activity can be exhausting. Along with leading to low energy levels, anemia can also cause dizziness and light-headedness.
Your desire for sex with fibroids may be affected by your underlying hormones, as well. Fibroids can cause an imbalance between your estrogen and progesterone hormones, which can lower libido. A decreased sex drive can have an impact on your mental state and relationships.
Fibroid Pain During Sex
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids and are experiencing painful sex that is affecting your sex life, personal relationships, and self-esteem, we encourage you to seek treatment from a fibroid specialist. You may be surprised to learn that nonsurgical methods can quickly and effectively eliminate your symptoms.
Fibroid Pain After Sex
Similarly, if you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids and are experiencing pain after sex, fibroid treatment may be key to allowing you to take back control of your sex life. Contact your doctor or a fibroid specialist as soon as possible.
Fibroid Treatment for Painful Intercourse
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a quick, easy, and effective way to treat your fibroids and relieve related painful sex. UFE isn’t like other surgical procedures; it’s an outpatient procedure that doesn’t require a hospital stay or general anesthesia. You’ll be in our office for only 30-45 minutes, and go home after to recover in the comfort of your own home. UFE shrinks fibroids by blocking blood flow, allowing them to starve and die on their own. Compared to invasive surgeries, the recovery period of UFE is far shorter. In fact, most women are back to normal activities within one to two weeks.
After UFE, patients can expect less, if any, discomfort or pain during sex.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers
At USA Fibroid Centers, we believe that it is important to visit your doctor to discuss your full range of symptoms and receive an accurate fibroid diagnosis. Our fibroid specialists at USA Fibroid Centers aim to educate women on all of their available treatment options.
If you’re not sure if your painful sex is due to uterine fibroids, contact us today for more information or take our online symptom quiz. No matter your symptoms, our experts are here to help you through your fibroid diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and beyond. Together, we can help you rediscover a pain-free, emotionally fulfilling sex life.