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Fibroids Sexuality – Tips to Overcoming Intimacy Challenges

July 25, 2023

If you have fibroids in your reproductive years, you may struggle with overcoming intimacy challenges.

Couple walking together holding hands - a way of  overcoming intimacy challenges

Commonly we speak of pelvic pain and pressure, irregular bleeding, bloating, constipation and other symptoms.

But an often ignored symptom is faced by women in their intimate lives.

These challenges faced by women with fibroids in their intimate lives can vary depending on the specific symptoms and impact of the fibroids. 

Here are eight common challenges and some tips for communication, intimacy, and seeking professional help in each case:

Pain During Intercourse

Fibroids can cause pain and discomfort during sexual activity. This is often due to the size and location of the fibroid, stretching the womb and making it sensitive to pain during sex.

It’s important to communicate openly with your partner about the pain you’re experiencing.

To overcome this challenge, you can try different positions, non-penetrative activities and explore alternative intimate activities that may be more comfortable.

Seeking professional help from a gynaecologist or sex therapist can guide managing the pain and exploring treatment options.

Couple closely intimate, half dressed and in bed in front of the ocean

Decreased Libido/Sexual Function

Some individuals with fibroids may experience a reduced sex drive. Imbalanced sex hormones and side effects of the medicines used for fibroid treatment may cause this problem.

But it could also arise from chronic pelvic pain, emotional stress related to the condition or tiredness due to anaemia some women get with fibroids.

Changes in sexual function can also happen independently of sex drive. Fibroids can affect sexual function, including difficulty achieving orgasm or experiencing vaginal dryness.

Once again, open and honest communication with your partner about your feelings and concerns is crucial. Discuss any changes in sexual function with your partner.

Explore different techniques, use lubricants to alleviate dryness, and consider seeking medical advice to address specific concerns.

Consider ways to increase intimacy that don’t necessarily involve sexual intercourse, such as cuddling, kissing, or engaging in other forms of physical affection.

If the decreased libido persists, consider discussing it with a healthcare professional who can evaluate potential underlying causes and offer appropriate solutions.

Professional help from a sexual health expert or therapist may also be beneficial for overcoming intimacy challenges.

Body Image Issues

Fibroids can cause changes in the shape and size of the abdomen, leading to body image concerns.

Bloating, weight gain, and a visibly enlarged tummy that is not due to pregnancy can lead to feelings of embarrassment and affect an individual’s self-esteem and body image issues.

Openly discussing these concerns with your partner can help foster understanding and support.

Focus on self-acceptance and emphasize the aspects of your body that you appreciate. Seeking therapy or counselling can also be beneficial in addressing body image issues and building self-confidence.

Emotional Impact

Fibroids are a chronic condition that can have an emotional toll, including feelings of anxiety, depression, or frustration. Sometimes medical treatments do not work.

Or they may cause significant side effects. Or even after treatment, fibroids may return.

Studies suggest that within 12 months of having a myomectomy, up to 15% of women see their fibroids return.

Discuss your emotional state with your partner, emphasizing the need for emotional support and understanding.

Engaging in activities that promote emotional well-being, such as regular exercise, relaxation techniques, or speaking to a mental health counsellor, can also be helpful.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

While some ladies with fibroids show no symptoms, other women experience heavy menstrual bleeding, which can be disruptive to intimacy.

Rather than allowing this to cloud your relations, discuss your concerns with your partner and explore alternative times or ways to engage in sexual activity that minimizes discomfort.

Seeking medical advice from a gynaecologist can provide solutions for managing heavy menstrual bleeding and improving your intimate life.

Check out this video, where I discuss ways to address heavy menstrual bleeding from fibroids.

overcoming intimacy challenges for a woman with fibroids means communicating with your partner

Urinary Symptoms

Fibroids can sometimes cause urinary symptoms like frequent urinating or being unable to control your bladder(urinary incontinence).

Communicate your symptoms and concerns with your partner, ensuring they understand your challenges.

Exploring different positions or trying intimate activities that put less pressure on the bladder can help minimize discomfort.

Consulting a healthcare professional, such as a urologist or gynaecologist, can provide appropriate treatment options for urinary symptoms.

Fatigue and Low Energy

Fibroids can cause fatigue and low energy levels, which may impact intimacy. Ensure your partner is aware of this potential complication – how fatigue feelings are associated with fibroids blood loss.

You can work together to overcome intimacy challenges by adjusting your routines to accommodate your energy levels.

In addition, to improve energy levels, focus on self-care, including proper rest, nutrition, and exercise.

Seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional can help identify potential causes of fatigue and provide appropriate management strategies.

Communication Challenges

I’ve encouraged you to communicate or discuss your symptoms, concerns and feelings with your partner. Easier said than done, right?

Discussing intimate issues related to fibroids can be challenging. It’s essential to have a safe and non-judgmental environment for open communication. The challenges of fibroids can put a strain on the relationship, affecting emotional and physical intimacy.

Regularly check in with each other and express your support and understanding. Encourage active listening and empathy with your partner. Many people do not understand women’s menstrual cycles or conditions like fibroids and their tremendous daily impact on a woman’s life.

It’s not out of place to seek the help of a qualified couples’ therapist or a sex therapist who can facilitate discussions and provide guidance on improving communication and intimacy.

Use counselling or relationship therapy to work through any problems and strengthen your bond. Encourage patience, empathy, and active listening to maintain a healthy relationship despite the difficulties. 

Summing Up

Remember, each individual’s experience with fibroids is unique, so it’s essential to tailor these tips to your specific circumstances. Overcoming intimacy challenges can make a big difference in living with fibroids.

Seeking professional help from gynaecologists, therapists, or counsellors can provide personalized advice and support to overcome challenges and improve your intimate life.

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Please get in touch with a health practitioner
 to discuss your condition, or reach us directly here.

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