Tips for Health

Chronic Disease: How it can affect your sex life

By on March 24, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

How can chronic illness affect my sex life?

A chronic illness is a health condition that will be present for a long period of time like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis or cancer.

People with chronic disease may feel tired and depressed much of the time. They may have pain, stiffness, or difficulty in sleeping. They may need medications or other treatments that can affect your sex life. They can have a surgery that can change the look of your body. As a consequence, they may have less interest in sex or can not enjoy sex the same way they used to.

Tips for Maintaining a healthy sex life if you have a chronic illness

Read about your illness. There are many self-help books dealing with sex and specific chronic diseases. You can also join a support group to talk about the illness.

If you have a chronic health problem, the following may be helpful to get ready for sexual activity:

  • Plan sexual activity for the time of day when you have more energy and your health problem bothers you less.
  • Make sure you are rested and relaxed
  • Wait at least two hours after eating before having sex.
  • If you need to take painkillers to feel better, take the medicine 30 minutes before sexual activity.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink and avoid using snuff in any form. Alcohol and snuff can affect sexual functioning.

The following may help you keep your sex life:

  • Hold hands, hug and touch your partner, even when not planning to have sex.
  • Use your senses to make sexual activity more enjoyable. For example, satin sheets on the bed, light scented candles or play music.
  • Tell your partner what you like and do not like you. Pay attention to what she likes and dislikes to your partner.
  • Try different sexual positions to find positions that are comfortable for you and your partner or use pillows for comfort.
  • Use intimate lubricating gel (one brand name: KY Jelly) to help lessen the discomfort with intercourse.

Talk to your partner

Even with the best intentions and preparation, there may be occasions during the course of  your disease when you decide you do not want to be sexually active. Talk to your partner about how you feel and why you feel that way. Talk to your partner about how you can help him/her deal with feelings and interest in sexual activity.

Talk to your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns that you may have about your sex life. Your doctor may have some suggestions that might help.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are feeling depressed or if you think the side effects of medication are affecting your sex life.

 

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