Uterine fibroids and adenomyosis cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, from severe menstrual cramps to heavy bleeding. Unfortunately, another common side effect of untreated fibroids is pain during sex. You may experience it as pelvic pain during sex or abdominal pain during sex. The discomfort often leads to difficulty in your relationship. Call the caring doctor at the Downtown Vein & Vascular Center in Brooklyn to get a firm diagnosis and effective fibroids treatment so you can go back to enjoying sex again.
What Kind of Pain During Sex Can I Have?
Pain during sex — technically called dyspareunia — is persistent discomfort during or after intercourse. You may feel pain during sex internally in your abdomen, cervix or uterus, or externally at the opening of your vagina and around the labia. Painful intercourse has a variety of causes ranging from physical medical conditions to psychological problems.
Feeling discomfort during sex may be an indicator of a more serious medical issue such as a uterine fibroid. While some people find talking about sex with their doctor uncomfortable, sexual health is part of your overall health. So talk to your doctor about any sexual health concerns. In Brooklyn, Dr. Sergei Sobolevsky and his supportive, skilled team of professionals at the Downtown Vein & Vascular Center offer compassionate, supportive diagnosis and treatment for women experiencing pelvic pain during sex due to fibroids.
What Causes Pain During Sex?
If you’re experiencing abdominal pain during sex, an underlying medical problem may be the cause. Doctors use a variety of methods — such as an ultrasound, physical exam and in-depth family history — to diagnose what’s causing painful sex. The reason you feel discomfort during sex may be physical, like an infection or a fibroids condition. For some people, psychological issues such as stress or trauma lead to sexual difficulties.
Physical conditions causing pain during sex vary between men and women. Abdominal or pelvic pain during sex is common in women. Some common physical reasons that cause women to feel abdominal pain during sex include:
- These uterine growths apply pressure to surrounding organs, which leads to fibroid pain, including severe menstrual cramps, an enlarged uterus and pelvic pain. Abdominal pain during sex is often present in women with fibroids.
- Women with endometriosis have excess uterine tissue occurring in places like the fallopian tubes or ovaries. A common side effect of endometriosis is pelvic pain during sex.
- Vaginismus occurs when vaginal muscles contract and close tightly. This muscle activity makes sex difficult and leads to pain during sex.
- Sexually transmitted infection. If you contract a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea, genital herpes or chlamydia, sex may become painful.
- Urinary bladder infection. This is a common cause of pain in women during sex.
- This medical condition also causes your lower abdomen to feel tender to the touch.
If the pain you feel during sex is internal and focused around your uterus, fibroids may be the reason. In the United States, nearly 80 percent of women develop fibroids. It’s common for women with fibroids to experience abdominal pain, which may intensify during sex.
Dr. Sobolevsky was both friendly and professional during my vein treatment. He took the time to explain everything to me and answered all of my questions. I would highly recommend him for anyone seeking vein treatment.
How Do Fibroids Affect My Sex Life?
Pain during sex is not the only way in which fibroids affect intercourse. Fibroids cause both physical and mental hurdles to enjoying sex. Other sexual complications due to fibroids include:
- Intense pressure. As fibroids grow larger, they apply pressure to the uterus and other nearby organs. Sexual intercourse increases this pressure, leading to pelvic pain during sex.
- Frequent urination. If intercourse causes your fibroids to apply pressure to your bladder, the sharp and sudden urge to pee can interrupt sexual activity.
- Menstrual changes. Fibroids cause changes to your menstrual cycle such as heavy periods and spotting. The unpredictability of your menstrual cycle makes it harder for you and your partner to plan sex.
- A lower sex drive. You may suffer from a lower sex drive due to fibroid weight gain or a protruding abdomen caused by an enlarged uterus. The low self-esteem brought on by these changes in body image decreases your desire to have sex.
- Infertility. In some cases, fibroids lead to an inability to get pregnant or carry a normal pregnancy.
Fibroids sometimes also cause pain after sex. After intercourse, you may feel cramping in your uterus that mimics menstrual cramps. Additionally, the increased pressure from fibroids and intercourse occasionally leads to uncomfortable stomach pain. Some women also experience painful fibroid bleeding after sexual intercourse.
How Can I Treat Fibroid Pain During Sex?
Fibroid pain during sex is treatable. Some types of fibroid treatment relieve your discomfort, whereas others eliminate them by removing the fibroids altogether. Depending on the nature of your fibroid condition and level of your pain, your doctor customizes a treatment plan for you. Common methods of treatment for pelvic pain during sex caused by fibroids include:
- Changing sexual position. Many women with fibroids find that some sexual positions reduce the amount of pressure on your uterus, therefore avoiding added abdominal pain during sex.
- Uterine fibroid embolization. This non-surgical procedure reduces the amount of blood flow to your uterus, which causes the fibroids to shrink and die off.
- Focused fibroid ultrasound. A magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound sends waves through your abdomen to the uterus. The ultrasound heats and removes fibroids.
- Myomectomy or hysterectomy. Sometimes, surgery is required to remove fibroids. In a myomectomy, your doctor cuts out just your fibroids, whereas in a hysterectomy the doctor removes your whole uterus.
If you’re experiencing pain during sex, seek medical attention. Relief from pain during sex starts with a phone call. Contact the trusted expert at the Downtown Vein & Vascular Center today for a consultation and to begin treatment for pain during sex.
Sergei Sobolevsky, MD, is a leading specialist in endovascular medicine with experience in vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Sobolevsky has decades of experience in the field, with over 25,000 procedures performed, accumulating extensive experience in image-guided minimally invasive medicine, diagnosing and treating a range of conditions.
Dr. Sobolevsky earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his specialty clinical training in vascular and interventional radiology at Harvard University. Later, he earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and named to the Top Doctors New York Metro Area in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Dr. Sobolevsky is licensed in multiple states, has delivered presentations at numerous institutions in the US and abroad, and now acts as a clinical advisor for the biomedical industry. He also held multiple positions in the field during his career, including Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, Senior Vice President in Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Artann Laboratories in North Brunswick, NJ, and Medical Director at the American Endovascular and Amputation Prevention Center in Brooklyn.More About Dr. Sobolevsky
Downtown Vein Treatment Center
480 Court Street, Ste 101
Brooklyn, NY 11231