Everyone has a story. A defining moment of their existence that makes them the person they are today. For Humans of UniSA, we delve into the depths of human nature and speak with some students to discover a slice of their personal history.
Master of Social Work
The hardest thing I’ve experienced is not being able to have sex for three years whilst in a long term relationship, due to having endometriosis. It all started in 2014 when, all of a sudden, intercourse became more difficult and painful.
When I had my first gyno appointment, I remember the doctor couldn’t even do the examination properly because my muscles were so tight. I was then referred to a pelvic floor physio, who showed me how to do dilator exercises. However, I found these exercises to be really uncomfortable, so I would avoid them as much I could.
For a while, I hadn’t been making a lot of progress and things only became worse. At that point, I was really struggling with my mental health. I wouldn’t even really talk about it with my friends because I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. I didn’t feel like a woman anymore, let alone a human.
After I was referred to a sex psychologist, I then started to develop the mental ability to do my dilator exercises regularly. Through this process, I also learnt to not be so ashamed about my condition. Now that I’ve overcome it, I’ve been able to have (mostly) pain-free intercourse, and it’s become more of an enjoyable and pleasurable experience.
I’m quite happy to be opening up about this because I feel like we need to break down some of the stigmas we typically associate with sex. If there is anyone experiencing endometriosis out there, I can assure you that help is available and you will get through it. While it takes a lot of courage, patience and determination, it’s possible to have a pleasurable sexual experience again.
Interview and photography by Geena Ho
This piece was originally published in Edition 30.