A Versatile Sex Life May Increase Sexual Satisfaction for Women With Endometriosis

For women who suffer from chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis, non-coital sexual activities such as petting and oral sex may provide an effective alternative to penile-vaginal sex for reaching orgasm and achieving a more satisfying sex life. In a recent study that surveyed 868 women from Switzerland, Germany, and Austria (434 women with endometriosis and 434 women who were part of a control group), researchers found that although the women with endometriosis were less likely than those in the control group to reach orgasm during sexual intercourse, there was no significant difference in orgasm rates during masturbation and non-coital partnered activities between the two groups of women.

Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) begins to grow outside of the uterus, generally in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. A key symptom of endometriosis is dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, and women with chronic pelvic pain show lower orgasm rates than healthy women. Certainly, the anticipation of possible pain during intercourse can negatively affect desire and the frequency of sexual encounters, resulting in lower sexual satisfaction for both partners.

While sexual satisfaction is highly personal and influenced by a number of factors, the ability to have an orgasm and orgasm frequency are two particularly strong factors in a fulfilling sex life. Fortunately, this study indicates that women with endometriosis are just as likely as other women to experience an orgasm while masturbating, receiving oral sex, or being otherwise stimulated by their partners.

Women and partners whose sex lives are affected by endometriosis or dyspareunia may consider incorporating other sexual activities into their sexual routines to increase desire and satisfaction and decrease sex-related difficulties. Additionally, such couples could seek support for improving their sex lives and satisfaction through sex counselling. A satisfying sex life can improve the quality of one’s life, and it can be attainable for all women.

Resources

Endometriosis – Symptoms and Causes. (2019, October 16). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354656

Hämmerli, S., Kohl-Schwartz, A., Imesch, P., Rauchfuss, M., Wölfler, M. M., Häberlin, F., von Orelli, S., & Leeners, B. (2020). Sexual Satisfaction and Frequency of Orgasm in Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain due to Endometriosis. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 17(12), 2417-2426. https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(20)30920-6/fulltext

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