Does sex make pelvic organ prolapse symptoms worse?
There are two burning questions when it comes to pelvic organ prolapse and sex. Can I have sex? Will sex make my prolapse symptoms worse? Here are the most important answers for individuals and couples working through pelvic organ prolapse and sex.
Do I need to give up sex with prolapse?
No, you do not need to give up your sex life nor should you.
Sex is important for your overall health and wellbeing. It improves your productivity and immune system, gives you energy and the boost of happy hormones helps circulate blood around your body.
Sex also helps your pelvic floor muscles. You contract and release the muscles in and around your groin, legs and abdomen regularly throughout your session. I’m not talking about doing kegel or physio-led exercises during sex. Consider these bonus-strengthening exercises whilst having fun.
Women consider giving up their sex life a lot quicker and easier than they do their physical or mental health, yet they all interrelate and form important parts of a whole.
Will sex make my pelvic organ prolapse worse?
No, sex will not make your prolapse worse OR create pelvic organ prolapse. As I said, sex helps work your muscles.
There are 2 ways your pelvic organ prolapse may SEEM worse during/after sex:
- If you experience vaginal dryness, which many prolapse sufferers do, then a lack of adequate lubrication will cause irritation and pain from the friction. It’s easy to avoid irritation by using a good amount of lubricant and re-applying as needed.
- The heavy, “my insides are falling out my vagina”, feeling MAY feel worse depending on what sexual activities you do and your level of arousal. Again, easily avoided by trial and error of the best positions that work for you and ensuring you are sufficiently aroused before attempting penetrative intercourse.
How can I minimise sex worsening my prolapse symptoms?
Expand your understanding of sex. Sex includes all sexual activities not just penetrative intercourse. 26% of the body’s surface is erogenous zones including the thighs, neck, breasts, stomach, feet, lips, ears and more! Slow down your sex sessions and spend time on areas all over your body before reaching your genitals. Women need at least 20 minutes to move their desire and arousal to a sufficient level to make penetrative intercourse pleasurable and comfortable so don’t rush. REMEMBER, a sex session doesn’t need to include penetrative intercourse. For women, the external clitoris is the most pleasurable spot to activate for an orgasm.
Lubrication is essential. There’s a lot on the market and it’ll take trial and error to find your preferred brand and type. Or, contact me for advice or recommendations.
Consider the positions you are in during any sexual activity. Avoid positions where gravity is working against you. For example, cowgirl or standing aren’t going to be your best friend so avoid those.
Positions that will work are:
- lying on your back and adding pillows or supports under your lower back and backside to raise your pelvis will reduce pressure
- doggy style on the bed with your shoulders and head on the bed so only your backside is in the air, or lying flat on your front with pillows or supports under your stomach and pelvis changes the angle and pressure
- lying on your side with your partner straddling your lower leg allows for both penetration and manual stimulation simultaneously and is a variation on your partner spooning you so you can maintain eye contact.
- If you’ve got great strength and flexibility, raise your backside and back completely off the bed (like a yoga bridge pose) and have either your legs over your partner’s shoulders or keep your feet planted for simultaneous penetrative and manual stimulation.
Don’t think that intercourse with pelvic organ prolapse is boring and there are only a couple of positions for you. There are endless positions and alternatives to try! Exploring different positions isn’t just for people with prolapse ALL couples are exploring for maximum comfort and pleasure.
Should I give up my sex toys?
Absolutely not! No one should ever give up a sex toy, they are one of life’s earliest inventions for a reason!
Sex toys are a full-body experience. There are toys for all over your body and even those designed for your genitals are not exclusive.
Vibrators don’t need to involve penetration. Many are designed for external use only and you may find these more comfortable. Clitoris-sucking vibrators do generally feel stronger because of the way they suck or pulse air. The most important thing to remember with these is to start slowly and create an air gap between your skin and the device if you need to reduce the strength. Avoid capturing any internal tissue as this may cause you some discomfort.
If you have rectal prolapse butt plugs or any toy inserted into your rectum are not recommended.
Lube is life for you and your toys so use lubricant with sex toys!
Don’t let anyone, even a doctor, tell you that you need to stop having sex! It’s incorrect and takes a narrow view of what sex is and the enjoyment and fulfillment that it brings people. Prolapse and sex will always co-exist.
Contact me directly for more advice.