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Relationships, Sex, and Endometriosis

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Let’s get started. I won’t make you read a whole paragraph to know what’s wrong with me. I have endometriosis, and it affects almost every aspect of my life: my job, my social life, and my eating habits. Most kids I knew were worried about acne and sex when they hit puberty, but I didn’t have time to worry about those things. I was in too much pain, and until I was about 18, I had no idea why.

I had my first real boyfriend during my senior year of high school, and he was the first person I had sex with. I knew my first time would be painful, but not like this. It took a few tries to really, um, do it. I thought it would get less painful over time, but for some reason it never did.

Whether it was a penis, a finger, or even just the thought of sex, I will always feel pain. It could be some discomfort, or it could be like sandpaper on a dildo. It made it difficult for me to really enjoy sex the way I wanted to, the way someone in a relationship should. We broke up, college came around, I met more guys, and I had more sex. Each time was painful, but I tried to ignore it. That wasn’t the right thing to do. I know that, and yet I still try to ignore it for the sake of a potential future relationship.

But let’s be honest, what kind of relationship can I have where I’m constantly in pain?

It’s not just sex. It’s physical exercise. It’s stress. It’s certain foods. It’s random nights in which my body decides to give up. But I’ve never been so emotionally distraught over my endometriosis for any reason as much as failing in relationships because of it. What guy will want to be with someone that, every so often, can’t walk anymore, can’t eat, can’t have sex for more a certain amount of time, throws up due to pain, faints due to pain, and cries for reasons he will never understand?

It’s not just his decision, though. I purposely distance myself in fear of becoming a burden. I don’t want to finally feel safe and comfortable with someone, only to be too much work for someone that is not worth it. I’m young, I’m 22 years old. I’m not looking for a husband, but at the same time, I’m getting tired of the same cycle of not wanting to get attached… Not wanting to be lonely anymore, finding a connection with someone, and ending with disappointment.

Still, with all of this going on, I am extremely grateful. Though my friends might not completely understand what’s happening in my body, they are supportive. They are loving. They are my strength and my hope. How can I repay them for staying in with me while everyone else is out? For taking me to the hospital when the pain is too great and I pass out? For holding my hair when my cramps force me to throw up? For carrying me up and down stairs after surgery? For putting up with all the phone calls and text messages from me complaining? I will never know. I want to know.

I’m going through treatments. I have medication. This isn’t life-threatening, but it is life-altering. I can’t go out to dinner without wondering if my endometriosis will act up. I can’t go to the bathroom without wondering if I’ll end up passed out on the floor. I can’t have sex without wondering if I’ll end up in the hospital shortly after. I can’t be in a relationship without wondering how he’ll feel about the struggle it will be to have children.

Hopefully, once these treatments start kicking in, life will be a little more manageable. Maybe I’ll feel less insignificant. Maybe I’ll find a guy I can hang out with or go out for some drinks with a friend and not worry about these things. I can just enjoy the journey. It’ll happen.

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Thinkstick Image By: Constantinis

Originally published: March 29, 2017
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