Endometriosis lesions risk influenced by sexuality, semen fluid, study shows

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Women's Health | Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Endometriosis lesionsEndometriosis lesions risk is influenced by sexuality and semen fluid, according to research. The findings come from researchers at the University of Adelaide where lead researcher Dr. Jonathon McGuane said, “In laboratory studies, our research found that seminal fluid (a major component of semen) enhances the survival and growth of endometriosis lesions.”

Associate professor Louise Hull added, “Endometriosis, when tissue that normally grows inside a women’s uterus grows outside the uterus, affects one in 10 reproductive-aged women. The condition’s symptoms vary, but include painful periods, pelvic pain, and women with endometriosis may have difficulty conceiving. This is an important finding and raises the possibility that exposure of the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) to seminal fluid may contribute to the progression of the disease in women.”

“The next stage of the research will look at what this means for women with and without endometriosis. We now need to apply these laboratory findings to real life and determine whether the exposure of seminal fluid that occurs naturally during intercourse puts women at increased risk of developing endometriosis. And if modifications to sexual activity could lower the severity of the disease in women with endometriosis,” concluded Hull.

Endometriosis, relationships, and sex life

Endometriosis can contribute to pain experienced during sex and make it quite a challenge to have personal relationships and an active sex life. Researchers in Italy found that nearly half of women with endometriosis experience pain during sex and these women often find it difficult to have these discussions with their partner, adding strain to the relationship.

Additionally, some women are just too embarrassed to talk about painful sex even with their doctors. As a result, endometriosis may go undiagnosed as painful sex can be an early sign of pending endometriosis.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus. Depending on its location, the condition can make sex painful.

Pain can range from mild to simply unbearable, and different sexual positions can play a role in the type and intensity of pain you experience. Worse yet, some women can experience lasting pain up to two days after intercourse.

Dr. John C. Petrozza, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, explained, “When there’s pain during intercourse, over a period of time, tension plays a big role. A woman anticipates pain, which creates a difficult emotional state. You’re anxious to please your partner, but fearful of post-coital pain. The tendency is to tense up, and sex becomes more painful even with superficial penetration.”

There are some solutions you can consider and try in order to reduce pain experienced through sex, such as changing positions – as mentioned, some may be more painful than others, picking the right time of the month as sex may be less painful during certain days of your menstrual cycle, and lastly, being open with your partner and doctor and ensure they know what is going on and how you are feeling.


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Sources:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news77722.html
http://ajp.amjpathol.org/article/S0002-9440(15)00079-6/abstract
http://www.everydayhealth.com/womens-health/why-sex-hurts-with-endometriosis.aspx


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