Loving a woman with endometriosis: a husband's perspective.
Loving a woman with endometriosis page


Loving a woman with endometriosis.

Loving a woman with endometriosis: a husband’s perspective.

Last updated: 27/1/2021

 

There are frequently asked questions about endometriosis that come to the minds of many men because loving a woman with endometriosis can be hard and challenging at times.

This is a guide for boyfriends, fiancés, and husbands dealing with endometriosis because every single one of us needs to know how to make the lives of our chronically ill ladies easier.

Let’s start from the beginning because as your relationship evolves, you will have many questions. This guide is for men of all stages of their relationship, I wanted every guy to find here something useful.

Let’s start from scratch:

  1. What is endometriosis?
  2. How to date a girl with endometriosis?
  3. Should you marry someone with endometriosis?
  4. How to help my wife with endometriosis?
  5. My wife has no desire for sex, what can I do?
  6. Can you get pregnant with endometriosis?
  7. How to understand the complexity of endometriosis-related pain?

Loving a woman with endometriosis seems complex, but it doesn’t have to be!

Below you will find short answers to the above questions, and further down I explain it all in more detail. Shall we?

Quick tips for loving a woman with endometriosis:

1. What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and Fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis can affect women of any age.

It’s a long-term condition that affects 10% of the female population worldwide but is extremely difficult to diagnose.

The struggle that women have trying to get a diagnosis for this condition often results in them suffering mental health problems, as was the case for my wife.

2. How to date a girl with endometriosis?

Endometriosis can negatively impact any relationship. For a guy, the word itself sounds very alien, let alone the complexity of this disease.

For a girl, it can be uncomfortable to have a sex conversation because she has to explain a lot beforehand.

For some guys this can be off-putting, not to mention her surgical scars across her belly.

After telling their partner they have to be gentle on them, because of endometriosis, because it can cause friction inside, guys don’t necessarily like that.

3. Should you marry someone with endometriosis?

Yes. Because endometriosis doesn’t define a woman!

Yes, it’s a chronic disease, but think about it guys – would you like to be looked at differently if you were, let’s say, impotent?

Nonsense! Exactly, no illness should define a person. If you love someone, you love them in sickness and in health.

And for all of you lovely ladies, as I say to my wife – you’re not ugly, you’re beautiful, and even if you can’t see it, I can.

4. How to help my wife with endometriosis?

Do your own research about endometriosis because it is a difficult disease to understand.

You will never fully understand what she’s going through, but you need to make an effort and try to understand her needs.

Support her decisions, no matter how meaningless they may sound to you, they are important to her.

Understand this is a chronic illness, it won’t go away, and you have to stand for her, not against her.

5. My wife has no desire for sex, what can I do?

Let’s face it, this is a tough one to crack, or is it..?

Gents, sex isn’t always about penetration, we’ll discuss it in more detail in this article…

6. Can you get pregnant with endometriosis?

Yes and no. But let’s focus on the “yes”, shall we?

Although endometriosis can have an effect on your chances of getting pregnant most women who have mild endometriosis are not infertile.

An estimated 70% of women with mild to moderate endometriosis will get pregnant without treatment.

Unless, like my wife, your girl has stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, then you will have to look at other options, like IVF.

IVF is often recommended for women with moderate to severe endometriosis, or for women whose bodies haven’t responded to other treatments.

7. How to understand the complexity of endometriosis-related pain?

The usual cramps a woman gets during her period or ovulation can be tough.

But they have endometriosis, the pain may be so intense that it affects their daily routine. It might even stop them from doing some of the things they love.

Before we continue, below you can find my Caregiver Tips to help you in your own struggles…

Table of Contents:


Communication!

No matter what stage of your relationship, communication is key when loving a woman with endometriosis.

Communication is the thing that matters most, but of course, it’s a two-way street.

In my own relationship, I received from my girl, then wife slot of love and understanding. All that, despite her chronic illness.

For the first few years, I kept my emotions to myself. But it almost led me to so-called “caregiver burnout”.

Only when (gently) I started sharing my frustrations and concern, things got better.

Because, as supporters of our chronically ill women, the burn-out, the guilt, and the shame we feel, has to come out.

And if you feel like talking opening up to your woman will hurt your manly pride, there is help out there you can reach for.

For instance, this very blog. It’s designed to guide and support supporters like yourself through the difficulties of living with someone who has a chronic illness.

I don’t mind if you look elsewhere, beyond this blog, as long as you reach out for help.

There aren’t many folks like myself. I haven’t actually met a bloke, who like me, dedicates his life to help other guys help them cope with their partners who have endometriosis or/and fibromyalgia.

There are online support groups, like Mendo Warriors, who will take time to listen to you.

But still, why not talk to the person cherish most in this world, the one person that you’re truly in this together with?

I don’t know if women ever really consider what the man in their life must be dealing with too…

Because let’s face it guys, we often keep things to ourselves, and we dwell it long enough, it leads us to a point where we become defensive.

That always ends with an argument.

So talk express what you feel instead of building emotions. There’s only so much you can put in the pot, eventually, it breaks!

Here are your answers to the questions I mentioned in regards to loving a woman with endometriosis…

Loving a woman with endometriosis 1


Your answers...

What is endometriosis?

Some of you may be asking endo what? Never heard of it! Others on the other hand may be familiar with it.

Anywho, for those who don’t know…

Endometriosis is a chronic illness that destroys the lives of many women.

The suffering is hard to deal with and diagnosis takes 7 to 8 years in the UK (where I live) and even longer in other countries.

It affects 1 in 10 women. Yes, it’s really that common!

Its impact on a woman’s life can be devastating and it has tried to invade our marriage, but we don’t let it beat us and ruin our lives.

My wife wrote an extensive article aiming at educating people on endometriosis.

She also focused on its worst form, which she developed – deep infiltrating endometriosis.

You will find there everything you need to know – all the symptoms, what the current treatments are, but also the effects that it has on sufferers and their partners.

So, I’d strongly advise you to read deep infiltrating endometriosis because it comes from a woman who went through hell with it.

How to date a girl with endometriosis?

Despite the prevalence of this disease, endometriosis is still little known, especially to single men, who never heard of the condition.

The main reason is that they had received very little education about women’s health in general, let alone about endometriosis.

Knowing or not, endometriosis is a significant part of any relationship; it dictates a lot of decisions couples make, their planning, and sometimes even how you spend time together.

Men sometimes find it hard to understand how their partner’s pain can be so bad that they have to cancel plans.

Most men, even male doctors, believe that period is supposed to be painful and it’s just what women have to go through.

Rubbish! But this lack of knowledge, sometimes pure ignorance, makes all of us (men) look bad.

How to date a girl with endometriosis? Simply, be understanding and be a good listener.

Communication is the key. Don’t judge, just listen. Think things through, don’t rush with your answer.

Ooh, and don’t interrupt when she tries to explain to you how she feels. She’s your best teacher. You won’t find better education than the person you love.

And remember, if your girlfriend has endometriosis, her period pain is much worse than that of other women.

Believe me – she isn’t whining or exaggerating it.

And even though there are things that you will have to learn about, it’s important that you remember – you will be going through the endo journey with your partner. She’s going to really appreciate it.

Your support will bring you both closer than any other healthy couple. Your intimacy and trust will be greater, and your relationship stronger.

Loving a woman with endometriosis 2


Marriage...

Should you marry someone with endometriosis?

M still carries guilt over the life “she gave me”, and the one she would have given me if she didn’t have endometriosis and fibromyalgia.

No, I didn’t divorce her even though she asked me to leave her for my sake so (as she said) I could be happier with someone else.

I never said I wasn’t happy. But her mind says otherwise sometimes. The reason?

There are times when I’m quiet, I may look grumpy, or can be a little impatient.

All these behaviors are human, and naturally, I experience them from time to time. There should be no guilt attached to them.

However, living with a chronically ill spouse you feel somewhat obligated to take your loved one’s negative emotions on the cheek.

You hide your emotions not to hurt your partner. She has enough on her plate to deal with. The last thing she needs is worrying about you.

You’re the man, you own it! But whenever you try to express how you feel, the guilt creeps in.

Loving a woman with endometriosis and helping her with the challenges endometriosis brings, can be very fulfilling.

Sure, you get frustrated, angry, sometimes maybe even isolated, however, even healthy couples have problems.

And remembering that endometriosis can bring you closer together if you’re willing to talk things out, makes your relationship stronger.

Endometriosis, fibromyalgia, or any chronic illness for that matter helps you appreciate life more.

You notice the little things that healthy couples don’t. You appreciate time together, every trip, every moment.

My wife was diagnosed soon after we got married. But I wouldn’t exchange her for anyone else.

Illness doesn’t define a woman, her character does!

I found that women who suffer from endometriosis are one of the strongest kind. Their bodies and emotions can be put to the test, but their mental strength is unbelievable!

Besides, for many women, the symptoms related to endometriosis will improve after menopause, when their menstruation stops.

Their ovaries will still produce small amounts of estrogen, so their endo may still respond to the hormone making them experience some mild symptoms, but it will be far easier to deal with.

Loving a woman with endometriosis and knowing how it is to be married to someone with this disease, I can openly say – yes, I would marry her again.

Worry Head Printable

FREE Printables for Her:

  • Fibromyalgia symptoms checklist
  • Endometriosis period pain tracker
  • Endo-belly
  • Body pain chart

How to help my wife with endometriosis?

Apart from work, I’m always around my wife. We have a good connection but that’s not the only reason.

I sleep, eat, practice and dance with her, as Latin-Ballroom is our passion. We share what we love, and both love traveling whenever we can.

Sure, we have separate interests too, but most of the time I’m around my wife since she got diagnosed with endometriosis.

I felt like she needed my support. After marrying her, “in sickness and in health” became even more real.

I’ve learned a lot and based on years of my experience of loving a woman with endometriosis, I feel confident to give you my caregiving tips.

Do your own research about endometriosis because it is a difficult disease to understand.

You will never fully understand what she’s going through, but you need to make an effort and try to understand her needs.

Firstly, her life has changed since the diagnosis and it will never be the same again.

Her fitness level will significantly drop, her diet, her mood, her habits will change. Along with that endometriosis will change the way you live too.

In some people’s eyes, the jury is still out as to whether diet can affect endometriosis or not.

I can openly say this; I have observed my wife for more than a decade now. Diet and stress are primary triggers for endometriosis flare-ups, pain, and other related symptoms like IBS or Iron deficiency.

You can’t provide a stress-free environment. No one can, it’s impossible, but you can try to minimize it, providing emotional support, physical care, and unconditional love.

I also observed with my wife, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a direct correlation between the foods she eats, and the amount of pain, length of flare-ups, and severity of other symptoms, like fatigue or brain fog.

The latter could be to do with fibromyalgia she has too, but either way – diet works miracles for both chronic conditions.

Luckily for my wife, we used to dance professionally, today we dance more for ourselves and compete when can, but sharing such passion helps endometriosis.

Aside from the diet, fitness and movement is a great way to go!

It may improve mood, sleeping patterns, fatigue, and pain levels – all of which are aspects of our health that are affected by endometriosis.

It helps my wife greatly. During Covid-19 lockdown, however, she stopped dancing, and home workouts are not the same thing.

So join her and motivate her to move, do yoga, or pilates. Do it together to encourage your partner.

Being shut during Covid only proved that lack of exercise, stressful situations, and no motivation to eat better influences negatively endometriosis.

Support her decisions, no matter how meaningless they may sound to you, they are important to her.

Understand this is a chronic illness, it won’t go away, and you have to stand for her, not against her.


Let's talk about sex!

My wife has no desire for sex, what can I do?

I wouldn’t be serious here without mentioning something, that is very basic for any couple – sex.

Sex plays a very important part in any healthy relationship, but for couples with endometriosis, it is more challenging.

Pain during and after sex is a common symptom of endometriosis so if your partner experiences it, you should be gentle, very gentle!

But remember, it is not always about penetration guys!

Sex is about exploring what makes you both happy and you can give pleasure in many ways. If you love each other, you will find the way.

There is no man in the whole world who doesn’t like oral sex. Let’s face it, gents, we will give anything we want to receive it. If you’re lucky enough to have a loving partner who adores oral sex, there will be no issues.

When it comes to the ladies, it’s never about the orgasms (which by the way can sometimes be painful with this illness) but it is about the intimacy, the touch, the whole experience.

It’s about being desired by you and feeling wanted and beautiful. Compliment her as often as possible, not only on sex days.

Passion shouldn’t have barriers.

This is my personal belief but I’m happy to be challenged on that matter. I feel that men just think about the ending, an orgasm. Women enjoy the whole process.

I think that women have a better understanding of sex, therefore they experience more pleasure.

Women get in tune with their bodies on a far deeper level than men. They don’t rush but enjoy every touch, every little sense and this slow build-up leads to higher levels of pleasure.

However, pain is not the only factor that can affect her sex life. Sex and intimacy might be affected by a range of other things, including:

  • Bleeding during or after sex; general fatigue and feeling unwell.
  • Reduced sexual desire because of medication.
  • Low mood.
  • The stress of trying to get pregnant.
  • Loss of body confidence and desire.

Both of you may experience feelings of guilt and sadness as well as feelings of loss associated with a lack of intimacy or closeness and affection.

You may also feel hesitant and even tentative and may be reluctant to approach your partner for fear of causing pain but (again) there is a simple solution in this – communication, so talk it out.

Women may face a difficult choice between avoiding sex or enduring painful sex in order to experience intimacy with you.

My wife told me about it, if you talk, you will resolve every issue.

Our marriage is based on trust and open conversation. We can move mountains!

So, before both of you get moody or begin thinking about it too much, just talk.

Can you get pregnant with endometriosis?

Infertility due to endometriosis can be related to many things. The first one is if endometriosis affects her ovaries and/or Fallopian tubes.

Biologically speaking, an egg travels from the ovary, through the fallopian tube, to the uterus for fertilization. Only then implanting into the uterine lining occurs.

If your partner has endometriosis in her Fallopian tube lining, the tissue may keep the egg from traveling to the uterus.

It’s also possible that endometriosis could damage her egg or your sperm.

I have no idea if M and I could have a baby, we never tried when we could. This caused my wife a lot of upset but moving few years forward, she accepted it.

Me not being ever bothered about having kids or not (I’d be happy either way) helped her tremendously.

Because it took a lot of pressure on her in terms of feeling bad for me and guilty. I didn’t mind it. She needed to take care of her loss of the possibility to be a mother.

But enough about us. Loving a woman with endometriosis who cannot get pregnant can hit you hard if you care for having kids.

I feel obligated to give you some advice because naturally, I researched it for us in the past.

When to see your doctor?

The answer is simple – whenever you try for a baby. Don’t wait. Advice is there!

Some doctors may recommend seeing an infertility specialist before you even think about trying to become pregnant.

If you didn’t have a chance yet, below you can grab your Caregiver Tips!


Endometriosis pain.

How to understand the complexity of endometriosis-related pain?

The usual cramps a woman gets during her period or ovulation can be tough.

But they have endometriosis, the pain may be so intense that it affects their daily routine. It might even stop them from doing some of the things they love.

Pain is the most important symptom in women with endometriosis, and its management is really challenging.

Aside from endometriosis, my wife suffers from fibromyalgia. She used to experience daily, excruciating pain but never knew the reason behind it.

The subject of pain got me so interested because I wanted to help my wife by understanding what she was going through. I couldn’t support her fully without understanding how pain really works.

Medically speaking, pain is an uncomfortable sensation that usually signals an injury or illness, therefore the most known to people there are acute and chronic pain.

But there are 5 types of pain, and women with endometriosis can experience many of them. They are:

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Nociceptive pain
  • Radicular pain

You can read about them in detail in my Acute vs Chronic Pain article.

The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, but it can spread to other parts of the body.

Very often this pain is associated with menstrual periods. Although many women experience cramping during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual.

Her pain also may increase over time as the disease progresses and isn’t treated or managed.

Many women with endometriosis feel pain while having sex or up to 2 days later. For some, it feels stabbing or sharp.

As you can see, endometriosis pain is very complex, I only touched upon it, because the subject is so vast, I could write another article about it.

I hope that the subject of loving a woman with endometriosis won’t scare any of you guys when reading this post.

If you have any questions, just put them in the comment section below and we’ll be happy to give you the answer.

Until then, I hope you have a pleasant time scrolling through the Worry Head blog.

Wishing you and your partner all the very best!

Till the next one!

Signature Lucjan

Who am I?

Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information for those who support their partners… [read more]


Disclosure:

We only partner with trusted companies offering products that help our readers achieve their goals! If you purchase through our links, we get paid at no additional cost to you! It helps us run the blog… Thank you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FREE Caregiver Tips popup
FREE Printable for HER popup