The most difficult adjustment within a life-threatening chronic illnesses and disabilities involves sexual activities.
Communicating openly and directly with partners, doctors and other health care professionals is not always easy in this field. People often have trouble discussing sexual issues or simply feel lucky to manage on their own in the daily program, therefore, as if they don't have the right to “complain” about changes in sexual functioning.
Problems that we ran into everyday, problems like joint movement limitations, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, weakness, stiffness, decreased mobility, decreased libido, altered genital sensation, vaginal dryness, side effects from medications (for example, risk for infections, weight gain or bloating) they affect all aspects of our lives (personal, family, professional and social) - they all can affect our self-esteem, self-image and, of course, our sexuality. We have negative moods, we have feelings like resentment, anger, guilt, grief, blame, depression, fears of isolation and of being rejected sexually, worries about sexually satisfying one's partner…
Solutions like acceptance, 100% communication, an individualized physical activity, planning the intercourse, devoting plenty of time to foreplay, devising a communication code for pain and pleasure, comfortable and safe positions, alternate ways to enjoy sex, learning some of the 64 Kama Sutra techniques and mastering some of the ancient arts a courtesan used to know, using sex toys and sex toy adjustments … are all here, presented in my personal view.
Conclusion Arthritis can lead to various sexual problems that require constant adjustment on the part of the individual with arthritis and the couple. But keeping in mind that “our most powerful sex organs, as they always say, are our minds” will make us feel self-worth and will reassure ourselves that we are deserving a strong, loving, committed emotional and physical relationship.
Disclosure of Interest None declared