Understanding the impact of endometriosis on intimacy and couples
Endometriosis is often a shared experience for those in a relationship, one that can have a substantial impact on the physical and emotional health of both partners. While endometriosis can affect a woman’s daily life, dealing with this condition can be equally stressful and frustrating for their partner.
As well as affecting work and income, it may also hamper a woman’s ability to contribute to household tasks or participate in social activities, as well as their ability to enjoy things together as a couple.
Painful intercourse is very common with endometriosis, and the resulting lack of intimacy is another factor that can have a profound impact on couples. As well as the impact on intimacy, endometriosis may also lead to fertility issues.
Often, partners experience different emotions as a result of this condition. While women tend to feel guilt or sadness owing to a lack of closeness in the relationship, men tend to feel helpless or frustrated seeing their partner in pain. On top of this, the infrequency or absence of sex may bring additional stress to the relationship leading to feelings of loneliness. The feeling of being distant from your partner and fertility problems can be a cause of significant emotional distress for a couple.
As endometriosis affects both partners, the key to dealing with these issues is through effective communication and by developing a mutual understanding of each other’s situation. Opening up about your state of mind and being honest with each other may help reduce the feeling of isolation experienced by both partners. Being caring and supportive can help both partners deal with the challenges posed by this condition.
Mutual support and encouragement is important to enable powerful emotions to be freely expressed. It is also important for both partners to discuss available treatment options, be equally involved in the process, and to make difficult decisions together.
Finding ways of coping with the condition by focusing on the positive and fulfilling aspects of your relationship, rather than on endometriosis and its consequences, is the key to strengthening your bond as a couple.