Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Endo Pain

Posted by Haisla Saturday, 5 April 2014

Pre-warning: this post is full of TMI material that some people may find too personal to be shared on a blog, so proceed with caution if you get grossed out by frank talk about sex..

Period pain, I am sure, is something that most endo sufferers are familiar with. Since my op, I have noticed reduced levels of period pain, to the point where I can actually manage without pain meds (most of the time). I used to have to load myself up with pain meds in my youth and am pretty angry that no one ever suggested to me that I might be suffering from symptoms of endo. It was just always brushed off as 'normal', but apparently, now that I have done my reading on the matter, period pain is not 'natural' or 'normal' at all and there are women out there who can carry on with their daily lives almost unaffected during their period, because it just isn't that painful. It's great to know with hind-sight that I wasn't just a wimp or exaggerator, but that my pain was worse than the norm..

But, as said, the pain is not so bad anymore, which is great news and I am hoping that thanks to the surgery and the endo diet (that I am almost, sort of, mostly following), I can keep it that way. I am a little worried that all this Clomid I am taking for the IUIs might be making my endo grow back with a vengeance, since my most recent period has been a real blood fest (but more on that in a different post).

Pain during sex - another warning sign that I should have taken more notice of was the fact that I experienced pain during sex regularly. In the first instance I thought it was because I was still quite unexperienced when I met hubby and thought that things were just a little 'tight down there' and that I would 'expand' more with practice. But as the pains kept on persisting I was sort of hoping that something else might be wrong to explain it all. I did mainly put it down (and here I expose my ignorance) to me being quite small and hubby being quite large (in all sorts of ways) and thought that we might just be a bit 'incompatible' in terms of the parts that needed to fit together.

Little did I know back then that the vag can actually expand to quite a number of inches in lenght when aroused, so that although hubs may be large, he's not ginormous and therefore I should be able to accommodate him quite happily and without any accomppanying pain. I also somehow thought that I was exaggerating the pain again and that perhaps discomfort during sex is just one of those things that women experience all the time, but don't talk about.. I mean it's not exactly something that I've brought up in conversation with friends. I think there is some level of shame attached - like there must be something wrong with me to not be able to completely enjoy sex like normal people do. So there were a lot of confused and complicated feelings in the mix for me and because it was just also so 'normal' for me, it became something I didn't think about too much. It just was what it was.

But then I had my lap and sex after the op was a revelation - no pain. Nada. I cried. I don't think I'd realised how much sex and the expectation of pain had become intertwined in my brain and how normalised the pain had become. Anyone reading this, please do get yourselves checked up, if sex is painful for you (especially deep penetration, even when you are fully aroused). Pain during sex is not normal, nor should it ever be accepted as such!

The pain has since come back gradually and I don't think it'll necessarily ever go away. Some times it's better, other times it's worse, there doesn't seem to always be any rhyme or reason. However, during ovulation my pelvic region appears to be particularly pain-prone, which obviously adds insult to injury and makes baby making even more of a challenge.

And hubby being the sensitive soul (thank goodness) that he is, finds it really difficult to continue thrusting (which he obviously needs to do in order to come), if he can tell that I'm in pain, so this is how it normally goes:

Things start off nice and pleasurable, and we have a bit of a good ride together (and Hubs is no '60 second wonder' more of a 'two hour stamina stallion'), but then after a while (and normally a few position changes later) I start experiencing some pain. By changing positions I can normally stave it off for a while, but then there does come a point when I just start thinking 'please come, please come, please come'. By this time hubs has normally noticed that I am in pain, which has killed his mood somewhat, so he finds it  even more difficult to finish off (as if there wasn't already enough pressure on him to get his little guys introduced to Miss Egg).

A bit of a mood killer that is and often ends in both of us sore and sick and tired and unable to actually cross the finish line. I mean, only in TTC sex does this ever even become an issue - in the past we managed, because I was just able to help hubby finish off by hand if needed, and everyone was happy - not so when TCC'ing. Every session's sucess is measured by whether or not sperm reached fallopian tubes. How twisted is that!?

We've become somewhat better at working around this, trying different positions, different angles, different depths of penetration, brining in toys etc. It's work in progress, and we are hopefully getting there. But there are still times when we just have to give up the ghost and if it's ovulation time, that really smarts. Just the thought of having to forgo the chance of conceiving is awful, but is it really worth putting us both in an even worse mood and actually making sex an unpleasant event that both of us will dread? I don't think so (although at the time I am often the one to insist that we carry on). I think the only thing that will make this problem truly go away is pregnancy or the decision to stop TTCing. And at the moment we are just not there yet. Or maybe we will give up trying at some point and just wait for the fertility treatments (because let me tell you the last IUI did take the pressure off almightily and helped us actually enjoy sex again).

It just angers me that this awful disease has the power to rob us of pain free and pleasurable sex. I am so envious of people who won't even understand what pain during sex means or don't have to wonder whether sex will yet again end in tears. The two just shouldn't mix (unless your into S&M) and yet that is the reality of our sex life and something we need to work around.

One thing I found when researching painful intercourse was this contraption:

ComeClose - a cushioned 'spacer'


Come close... Has anyone tried it? It's meant to reduce the pain of collision dyspareunia that is caused by deep penetration (that can be caused by conditions such as endometriosis). I'm contemplating on buying one but at £24.99 (+ £5.00 for delivery) it's quite dear.. But then again, pain-free sex surely is priceless..?


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