Endometriosis and painful female sex

What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful gynecological condition in which tissue from the uterine lining (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, often on the ovaries, rectum, or bladder. Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis.

Many women who have endometriosis experience few or no symptoms. In fact, it is often diagnosed when a patient is undergoing pelvic surgery for other reasons. However, in some women, endometriosis may cause severe menstrual cramps, pain during intercourse, infertility, or other symptoms.

Many women with endometriosis experience pain during sex, and some start to avoid intimacy because of the condition.

How does this situation affect their male partners? Scientists asked 236 men about changes in their sex lives.


How can Endometriosis affect your partner?

Men don’t get endometriosis, but it can still have an impact on their sex lives, according to new research.

Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the uterine lining (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. It can grow on the ovaries, bladder, rectum, and other abdominal areas.

There is no cure for endometriosis, and while it can be managed through medications and surgery, it can be quite painful. Sex can be uncomfortable, and some women avoid intimacy because they are anxious about pain.

How does the situation affect their male partners? Researchers considered this question and shared their findings in a 2018 Journal of Sexual Medicine study.

The researchers compared related questionnaire results from 236 male partners of women with endometriosis and an additional 236 male partners of women who didn’t have endometriosis. For each group, the women were similar in age and ethnic background, and the men’s average age was around 38 years old. They lived in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.

Three-quarters of the men whose partners had endometriosis said their sex lives had changed. Fifty-eight percent said they were very satisfied with their sexual relationships, compared to 74% of the partners of women without endometriosis. Intercourse, oral sex, and petting were also less frequent for the endometriosis couples.

The authors recommended that couples seek sexual counseling if they feel endometriosis is interfering with intimacy.

To learn more about endometriosis and strategies for more comfortable sex, please see these links:

Endometriosis and Sex

Enjoying Intimacy Despite Sexual Pain and Discomfort



The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Hämmerli, Silvan, et al.

“Does Endometriosis Affect Sexual Activity and Satisfaction of the Man Partner? A Comparison of Partners From Women Diagnosed With Endometriosis and Controls”

(Full-text. Published online: April 26, 2018)