Prolapse and Sex: Yes You Can
I don’t want to brush aside the feelings of vulnerability or embarrassment women with prolapse might have while undressing during intimate moments. Certainly, prolapse has an impact on body image and may make a woman feel less sexy or less desirable. Talking about this issue with your health care provider may help you to get past those feelings; if surgical repair of the prolapse is not preferred, engaging in sex with your partner is still possible and enjoyable for both parties.
Some women with pelvic organ prolapse believe that their condition—just by its mere presence—prevents them from having sex with their partner. The truth is there is nothing about prolapse that prevents one from engaging in sex.
Depending on the stage of prolapse, a bulge may be present at the opening of the vagina or even outside the vagina. Having a bulge in that location can be a little disconcerting to a woman or her partner. But, will sex hurt because of the prolapse? Will sex hurt the prolapse?
No and No.
Your partner may not even be aware that you have prolapse. Oftentimes, when lying down, the prolapse is less obvious as it does not come down as far as when one is standing up. In fact, since prolapse does not affect sexual stimulation, a woman with prolapse can have just as great of a sex life as a woman without prolapse and sex will not hurt the prolapse or make it worse.
Sometimes women experience discomfort during sex but prolapse in and of itself is not associated with pain. Sex may be uncomfortable for other reasons (vaginal atrophy and dryness or pelvic floor muscle spasm). Gentle “reduction” of the prolapse (pushing the prolapse back inside or up higher into the vagina) to allow for sexual intercourse should not hurt. If you feel pain during sex, there is probably another explanation and you should see your health care provider to further understand the source of the pain.
Relaxation is key to a fulfilling sex life (prolapse or not), so if a woman is feeling anxious prior to engaging in sexual activities, finding ways to be calm and “in the moment” may be helpful in making sex more enjoyable. Also, strengthening one’s pelvic floor with kegel exercises can enhance enjoyment during sex. Check out Dr. Bologna’s How to Kegel blog to help strengthen one’s pelvic floor muscles.