Fibroids and Sex
Uterine fibroids can affect more than just your physical well-being. They can also 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 taboo.
Fibroids impact up to 80 percent of women in the U.S. by the age of 50, and we encourage women to talk about fibroids and their symptoms, like pain during sex. We believe that as more people recognize symptoms of fibroids and understand their treatment options, more women will get the care they need. Learn more about the symptoms of fibroids by taking our symptoms quiz!
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are common, benign tumors made up of muscle and fibrous tissue. They form on the walls of or within the uterus. Fibroids typically affect women during their childbearing years but can have an impact at any age.
Common fibroid symptoms can include heavy periods, severe cramps, low energy levels, or pain during sex for women. 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 – These fibroids are located in the center of the uterus along the lining and can cause heavy periods as well as other symptoms.
- Subserosal – Another type of fibroid that can be found on the outer surface of the uterus. These fibroids sometimes push on your pelvic nerves and cause pain, increased urination, and trouble sleeping.
- Intramural – Fibroids that develop in the muscle between the submucosal and subserosal regions are called intramural fibroids. They can cause bleeding, pain, or both (depending on how they grow).
A fibroid specialist can determine where the fibroids are located and may recommend testing, such as ultrasound or MRI, to identify the type of growth present in your uterus. Seeking a diagnosis is the best way to understand what is causing pain during sex, and treatment options that may alleviate your pain.
How Do Fibroids Affect Sex?
Unfortunately, the reality is that fibroids can cause pain during sex. 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
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, we want you to know that non-surgical treatment is available that can relieve your pain.
Fibroids Causing Pain After Sex
Along with causing vaginal pain during sex, uterine fibroids can also cause pain after intercourse. This type of pain can manifest in several ways. For instance, some women experience uterus cramps after sex that are similar to menstrual cramps. Others may notice stomach pain after sex or uncomfortable stomach cramps.
If you have fibroids, the bottom line is that sex does not need to be painful. Understanding why fibroids cause pain during intercourse or afterwards may help you avoid this issue. We also want you to be aware that a range of effective treatment methods exist that can help alleviate fibroid symptoms.
Why Do Fibroids Cause Pain During and After Sexual 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 you might find more comfortable. Remember that communication is key; although it may feel awkward, we encourage you to talk openly with your partner.
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 improve your symptoms.
What are Common Complications of Sex with Fibroids?
Along with sometimes causing pain, sex with fibroids can cause other issues as well. One potential problem is bleeding afterward, which can be messy and frustrating. For women with fibroids that cause visible abdominal swelling, a negative body image, low self-esteem, 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 blood loss during menstruation; therefore, any strenuous activity can be exhausting. Along with leading to low energy levels, anemia can also cause dizziness and lightheadedness.
Your desire for sex may be affected by your underlying hormones as well. Fibroids can cause an imbalance between your estrogen and progesterone hormones, which can lower your libido. A decreased sex drive can have an impact on your mental state and relationships.
Abnormal periods can occur with fibroids, which makes it hard to plan for sex with your partner. You may notice bleeding in between your periods or for extended times during your period. Not only do you have fewer days when you may want to enjoy sex, this unpredictability also prevents you from looking forward to a romantic encounter with your significant other.
Fibroids that are pressing on your bladder can make you feel like you need to use the bathroom right away. If you experience this urge during intercourse, it can negatively impact your intimate time with your partner and make timing difficult.
Diminished Body Image
When you don’t feel well, it’s hard to be sexual, confident, or comfortable. If fibroids have caused an enlarged uterus, it can give off the appearance that you’ve gained weight, which may affect your self-esteem. You may become more self-conscious and feel more hesitant about your body.
If fibroids are impacting your quality of life by causing pain during sex and other uncomfortable symptoms, treatment is available.
How To Treat Fibroids and Stop The Pain
At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer a minimally invasive fibroid treatment that can shrink your fibroids, alleviate frustrating symptoms like painful sex, and quickly get you back to daily life.
Our specialists perform a state-of-the-art procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is an effective way to treat fibroids and relieve pain after sex. In comparison to fibroid surgery, UFE is an outpatient treatment that doesn’t require a hospital stay or general anesthesia.
UFE takes only 30 to 45 minutes. After a short recovery period, you can go home the same day to recover. UFE shrinks fibroids by blocking blood flow, allowing them to 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 Today
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 diagnosis. Our fibroid specialists at USA Fibroid Centers aim to educate women on all of their available treatment options –– both surgical and non-surgical.
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. To book your initial visit, schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 855.615.2555. We look forward to seeing you and helping you reclaim your life.