6 of the Best Sex Positions for People With Endometriosis
Before I was diagnosed with endo, I didn’t understand why sometimes sex would hurt and other times it wouldn’t. I thought there was something wrong with me.
I’d feel this kind of bruised, stabbing pain when I’d engage in deep penetration which was super annoying — because that’s my personal favourite way to orgasm. For ages, I just couldn’t do it. My lower abdomen and uterus felt so sensitive and sore.
Turns out, this is a very normal experience for people suffering from endometriosis, award-winning sexologist Chantelle Otten tells POPSUGAR Australia.
“Endometriosis is a chronic medical condition that affects the reproductive system and is characterised by tissue growth in areas outside of the uterus,” she says.
It can be caused in two different ways:
1. Deeper pain: Penetration can be difficult and uncomfortable due to the presence of scar tissue; and once penetration has occurred, it often leads to increased pain as uterine muscles spasm in an effort to protect you from further irritation or injury, Otten says. The most common symptoms experienced during sexual activity are sharp pains deep inside the pelvis and/or abdomen. It may also be difficult or impossible for someone with endometriosis to orgasm due to the intense pain they are feeling.
2. Vaginismus: Many endo sufferers experience vaginismus, says Otten, which is the tightening of the pelvic floor muscles to protect the body from experiencing that deeper pain. “Overall, this can make penetration even more painful and sometimes impossible.”
But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to work through the pain and still experience pleasure. “Working with a sexologist, pelvic health physio and your gyne can help,” says Otten.
She’s given us some tips below, for the six best sex positions for people suffering with endo pain, and a few additional tips to make these more enjoyable overall.
According to Otten, avoiding deep penetration in general, and utilising shallower positions helps to reduce the intensity of any resulting discomfort during sex.
“Missionary position is usually a good starting point,” she says, “as it naturally limits the depth of penetration while still allowing both partners to remain close to one another.”
You could try starting with missionary and shallow penetration, before exploring other angles and areas.
Many find that side-facing positions with bodies lying parallel or spooning positions provide greater comfort when engaging in penetrative activities, says Otten. “This is due to the reduced friction and deeper connection they can offer,” she says.
These positions, from personal experience, can also be super comfortable. It’s essentially getting a warm hug, whilst having sex — which can be a super nice feeling when you’re fragile and in pain
Sex doesn’t have to mean penetration, says Otten.
The 69 position is perfect for two people who want to give and receive oral pleasure at the same time. It’s all about external stimulation, which can give adequate pleasure and orgasm without penetration. It’s a great way to enjoy each other’s bodies, without having to endure penetration during an endo flare-up.
You should never underestimate a good face-sit. With the receiving partner in a dominant position, it’s the perfect platform for exploring a dom/sub scenario, which adds a layer of fun play to something that may feel “less exciting” than sex. It’s all about the mindset!
It’s also a fantastic position for very intimate cunnilingus, as eye contact can be maintained while the giving partner goes to town on delivering pleasure to the receiving partner’s vulva or anus.
Really into watching your partner get off? You can totally touch yourself in front of each other. It may sound simple, but sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics. They might even learn a thing or two about how you like to be touched! You should never be too “safe” in a relationship to not be open to learning more about what gets your boo off.
You could play with toys, change up your sitting positions and even give each other a little show with music. The possibilities are endless!
If you’ve never tried anal before, now might be the perfect time, Otten suggests. While it might be daunting at first, anal is a great way to have penetrative sex without creating extra pressure on your endo pain.
But Wait, There’s More…
In addition to shallow penetration and non-penetrative pleasure, Ottens says that there are other methods that may help reduce pain associated with endo during sexual activities as well.
Engaging in plenty of foreplay before attempting any penetrative activity can help prepare the body for intimacy by increasing blood flow and triggering natural lubrication – both of which can help reduce pain and make activities more pleasurable overall. Additionally, utilising lubricants can also further enhance pleasure by reducing friction between partners.
Lube might get a bit of a bad stigma, but it totally shouldn’t. It’s there to help make your sexual experience more pleasurable… and how could that ever be a bad thing?
For people with pain, utilising lubricants can further enhance pleasure, by reducing friction between partners, says Otten.