ENDOMETRIOSIS & SEXUALITY: IT'S A MATCH!

This week, we have an almost candlelit appointment with Anaïs and Lisa from the “Les Invisibles” project to talk to you about endometriosis and its impact on intimate and sexual life. Endometriosis is everyone's business and '"Les Invisibles" make it their business on a daily basis but also here on our blog for a moment to help you understand what is going on in the microcosm of endometriosis Endometriosis can affect your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, colleague, neighbor or even that woman sitting right there next to you…

Enemy No. 1 to defeat: pain, representative of the disease but not only because it is accompanied by a myriad of other invisible enemies and fiercely difficult to fight. Fatigue, pain, anxiety, insomnia, questions, brief treatments, it's a whole environment that is under attack. Endometriosis sets in, imposes itself and takes a place that it should not. What to do when it slyly besieges with its tissue similar to that of the endometrium, the surrounding organs ? This same tissue that will also cause pain but also implant a whole devastating ecosystem on the body ? This same body which with time will seem somewhat foreign to you and at the same time so familiar. If endometriosis puts everything in the background, professional life and personal life, how can you think about recomposing your sex life? A complete mutation of one body by the presence of another, endometriosis affects the lives of all these women on many levels and in particular their sexuality. This disease requires on a daily basis to face often heavy treatments to fight it and these give rise to other battles: vaginal dryness, anxiety, loss of libido, loss of self-confidence... What about the revival of a sexual life that is sometimes difficult to adopt?

Going to conquer a heart/body is always an arduous journey but conquering one's is in no way "simpler", rediscovering oneself, flourishing as best as possible with endometriosis is a task that is certainly difficult but not impossible . .

“Les Invisibles” exhibition by Anaïs Morisset Desmond and Martin Straub. “Still Life”. Photography credit: @martinstbphotography and @utbarley

Endometriosis in a few (long) words:

In recent years, you may have noticed that there has been more and more media coverage of endometriosis . At YESforLOV and @lesinvisibles_, we asked ourselves the question "how to have a fulfilling sex life when you have endometriosis? » .

What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is a disease characterized by the presence, outside the uterine cavity, of tissue similar to that of the endometrium, the mucous membrane that lines the uterus. This is implanted outside the genital organs such as the ovaries, the LUS, the torus, the fallopian tubes, the bladder, the urethra, etc. Other organs can be affected such as the thorax, the diaphragm, the rectum, the intestines, the navel, the liver... A veritable invasive pest, endometriosis has the unfortunate tendency of sticking the organs together to leave a hostile ground. .

The adage says “Alone we go faster, together we go further”, endometriosis has understood this well because it is sometimes accompanied by adenomyosis, a sister judged too quickly as a twin of this one. Outside, the two are to be dissociated even if they tend to associate. They don't necessarily match. Adenomyosis refers to a series of changes occurring strictly inside the uterus, which lead to the presence of the uterine lining (endometrium) inside the uterus (myometrium).

For both, the symptoms are diverse and can change depending on the person affected, hence the complexity of the diagnosis: chronic pain (also outside of menstruation) menorrhagia, dyspareunia, chronic fatigue, violent pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation/diarrhea chronic conditions, food intolerance and allergies, sleep disorders, etc.

"There is not one endometriosis BUT endometriosis."

To be diagnosed, first of all you have to feel confident with the practitioners (gynecologists, midwives, radiologists). The famous: "It's normal to have pain during your period" , "you're a sissy" and other "have a child it will pass!" “: all these clichés are to be destroyed. A climate of trust is essential. A questionnaire and examinations such as ultrasound, MRI and scanner can confirm the diagnosis! Attention, it is very important that the exams are interpreted by a professional who can analyze them. It is possible that endometriosis is present without manifesting itself, hence the importance of being accompanied by practitioners who know the disease very well. Today, NO medical treatment has emerged to treat these diseases, however it is "admissible" to prescribe an incalculable number of treatments even if only to try to slow the progression of the disease.

Between pill 1, pill 2, pill 3, injections and other artificial menopauses, hell is not always paved with good intentions. A real multidisciplinary care must be put in place to counter all these effects (harms) related to the treatments but also to relieve the multiple pains of the patients. The question of your sex life will arise sooner or later in your career, a question too often neglected or swept away by doctors.

The 5 tips of the @Invisibles for a fulfilling sexuality and intimate life with endometriosis:

  • Try to build your self-confidence by pampering and pampering yourself. Unwinding, relaxing and reconnecting with your body is clearly the way to go.
  • Do not hesitate to get help and surround yourself with specialists. Some physiotherapists offer adapted massages, respiratory, postural or perineal rehabilitation to reduce pain and stretch the lesions due to endometriosis. Nutritionists-dieticians can also fly to your rescue and sexologists are also on hand to offer you effective tips to deal with your problems.
  • Communicate about your illness, you can tell others about it! Your partner (of a night or a life) could understand your situation. In an intimate relationship, respect for the body of the other, communication and mutual consent are essential.
  • Rethink your vision of eroticism to explore a new one, alone or in pairs, and the one that suits you, such as slow sex , masturbation or massages.
  • Say “yes” to YESforLOV intimate and erotic cosmetics .
    YESforLOV symbolizes the most demanding French brand of intimate pleasure and offers with its intimate lubricants , its intimate massage oils and its aphrodisiac gels an elegant, serious and responsible image of romantic relationships. YESforLOV's mission is to design products that respect your skin and mucous membranes by selecting the best ingredients and testing the harmlessness and effectiveness of each of their formulas. YESforLOV intimate cosmetics are made in France and are packaged in vegetable plastic tubes. The quality of the products may explain the price to pay, but we reserve the right to believe that the mucous membranes, like the planet, are a treasure with which we cannot cheat.

The impact of treatments on sexuality: sexual healing? Lie ?

To each woman her endometriosis .. . It is well known (we hope so at least), there is not one but many endometriosis. If the origin of the evil is now easier to recognize (dyspareunia due to lesions), some data still escape us as to the well-being of women with endometriosis. Sexuality can be impacted or machine-gunned by treatments that are most often heavy and intended to put the disease to sleep. The libido will take great pleasure in rushing off, we don't know where, in order to take time off for, let's say it, an indefinite period!

The cause: the multiple treatments offered , including the hormonal approach (pills & injections) has a direct impact on the libido . All our impulses sometimes called "animal" are relegated not to the background but at least to the fifth. No more peak in ovulation, esteem and self-love at half mast, vaginal dryness... In short, estrogens are completely turned upside down and the treatment in its passage strikes down the production of testosterone responsible for the hormone of desire . A real surprise basket! We are now on point, we hope with regard to hormone therapy.

To go further, do not hesitate to consult the book by Marie-Rose Galès Endo & Sexo : Have a fulfilling sexuality with endometriosis . Real resource of knowledge about the disease.

“Les Invisibles” exhibition by Anaïs Morisset Desmond and Martin Straub. “Portrait of Amelie”. Photography credit: @martinstbphotography and @utbarley

 

Sex & pain: Two words that have nothing to do together under the duvet.

Apart from the pleasures mentioned above, we still have another to (s)address. A) tackling dyspareunia, a vast subject. Let's get to know her. Who is she ? What does she want from us? Not good, that's for sure. Dyspareunia, pain on penetration, whether intromission or deep, corresponds to a reflex contraction of the pelvic muscles, which makes penetration painful and (or) impossible.

“50 to 80% of patients with endometriosis suffer from deep dyspareunia. » Source @women_endoandco.
But why the hell does it hurt? Several reasons for this:

The achievement of the LUS (uterosacral ligaments) are the first in the line of sight, the so-called back and forth movement or quite simply the effect of pressure of intromission of any object, tap on them. Endometriomas, adenomyosis or other lesions cause pain. If we could use an allegory and we'll do it, it's like pressing a bruise, already, it's not a good idea and moreover it's painful. All this therefore causes pain due to a loss of mobility in this region.

Although the battle against these pains is fierce, it makes it possible to rethink the pre-established model of eroticism of yesterday and today but not that of tomorrow because it will be written by you. A bit like the rainbow after the rain (hail in this case.)

Our weapons in this fight: physiotherapy, sex therapy, sophrology, acupuncture, balneotherapy, EFT, an approach with nutritional monitoring, sport, hypnosis and without forgetting our "everyday" objects (yes, they will now have to be part of your routine): Lubricating gels , sex toys , erotic books and podcasts , massage oils ...

The sword or the sword, it's up to you ladies to fight with what you like because the objective will obviously be to set out again to conquer your pleasure.

Last essential point: We know that endometriosis is grueling work, always put your health before the rest, including your sexual health, which is too often neglected by doctors. A so-called self-care routine will be your best ally, whether it's closely related (no pun intended) to your sexuality or simply watching your favorite series.

The 3 favorite products of @Invisibles with endometriosis:

At Les Invisibles, we were able to test YESforLOV products to help us “in our exploration” of self-love and self-love. We had the pleasure of trying the following products:

  • The Lov'Touch , a truly soft and light erogenous stimulator with a particularly chic design. It allows those who have not yet tested the helptoys to familiarize themselves with the vibrations on our so sacred "oh" "clitoris" , or for those who are looking for a non-intrusive helptoy with light vibrations. It is a toy for women par excellence if you are looking to please yourself gently, it perfectly fits the size of the vulva.
  • Our big favorite is the "Water-based moisturizing lubricant" . This natural and moisturizing intimate gel provides a pleasant and serene sensation of softness and comfort. Odorless, this unisex intimate lubricant does not dry out. This product is also compatible with condoms and sex toys! The natural intimate lubricant has become an essential benchmark for us!
  • The heating effect of the arousal gel for women to place on the clitoris soothes and particularly stimulates it.
  • The intimate hide-and-seek kit , a sensual accessory for writing the most mischievous and unpronounceable words.

CBD, our tailor-made solution to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis.

Very popular at the moment, CBD is the new favorite track at YESforLOV.

Confidences of Benoit, the product manager, YESforLOV cosmetics laboratories have formulated an orgasmic serum based on CBD . This CBD concentrate should arrive very soon on the yesforlov.com website to help us let go and relieve certain symptoms of endometriosis.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors necessary for the transmission of the enzymatic signals of CBD are notably present in the central nervous system and the hormonal system. This little wonder of nature therefore regulates the stress and anxiety that the disease can cause, it could even relieve nausea.

CBD also has analgesic properties . In other words, it relieves pain by containing it and inhibiting the receptors responsible for this sensation.

Attention, it is important to mention that CBD does not cure endometriosis. Cannabidiol has only one function: to relieve and soothe the deleterious effects of endometriosis.

Les Invisibles: An artistic project that denounces and fights against endometriosis.

Martin Straub , photographer ( @martinstbphotography) and Anaïs Morisset Desmond, collagist and artistic director (@utbarley) created "Les Invisibles" in 2019, the title of an immersive independent exhibition to free the words of women with endometriosis and adenomyosis but also to denounce not only the medical wanderings but also the psychological, physical and gynecological violence they suffer, the ignorance of the teaching staff and the professional complications among others. Their goal of this artistic project is to bear witness to the pain of endometriosis and the reality experienced by people with endometriosis and/or adenomyosis, far from statistics that do not reflect reality.

They went to meet 64 women between the ages of 17 and 54 who revealed themselves confidently on their path strewn with pitfalls.
You can follow their news on @lesinvibles_ and their projects here.

Lisa Guilleton (@lisaguilleton) , founder of KETCHUP ( @ketchupperiodd ), an e-shop dedicated to PMS and menstrual well-being , is joining the @Les Invisibles project on Instagram to offer a "Well-being and Endosexo" capsule. She is a bit of a shadow editor on this vast subject and this article full of common sense and seriousness. First photographed for the project, she gradually joined the project to help the brave invisible in their approach. 


Would you like to know a little more about endometriosis? Here is our selection of books and comics around this subject:

: • Endo & Sex by Marie-Rose Galès
• Endometriosis, What other countries have to teach us by Marie-Rose Galès
• Endometriosis, a path to balance by Peggy Favez
• Roommate with Fanny Robin's endometriosis
• Just an endometriosis from Fanny Robin
• Anti-endometriosis food by Fabien Pasco
• Naturopathy, Marine Le Gouvello's complete daily guide
• Essential woman - Aude Maillard's guide to essential oils for women

“Make love, not war” of course, but we, above all, want to wage war on love, the love we give to ourselves, for ourselves and by ourselves. Reducing to dust the prism through which we see this imaginary sexual life and ultimately imagined by false convictions, it is the fight of all but also ours.

Sexuality and endometriosis are not incompatible, your new sexuality is just as legitimate as a so-called "normal" sexuality based on penetration, a devouring appetite or even unbeatable lubrication. Getting back in shape, redefining your sexuality will be the best way to reconnect with the integrity of your body.

Because sexuality is the expression of love and the desire for you to create your own, your territory of pleasure. So on the way to make up on the pillow. »