Sex & Chronic Illness

Suffering from an illness can not only affect the running of your social life, but can also have a major impact on your sex life. Chronic illness is the main concern, as this incorporates conditions that you suffer from for a long period of time. Such illnesses include heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Having a chronic illness can result in your energy decreasing, and may involve the use of medication or surgery, which can have an adverse effect on your sex life. However, with the desire to improve your sex life and the help of your partner, such illnesses can be prohibited from putting an end to your sex life.

What affect can a chronic illness have on sex?

The affect of a chronic illness on a person’s sex life can vary. However, there are common problems they can create, which can cause your sex life to dwindle:

  • Fatigue - A chronic illness can cause your energy levels to drop rapidly, and this can see any sexual desire you may hold to be all but forgotten
  • Pain & Stiffness - Chances are that a chronic illness will cause you some form of pain and stiffness, and this can make sexual activity an unachievable desire
  • Depression - People who suffer from a chronic illness may find themselves feeling depressed. This can have a negative affect on your sex life
  • Medicinal side-effects - Certain medications you are required to take when you have a chronic illness can affect your sex life. You should check with your GP to be sure if this is the case
  • Surgery - Surgery may be a necessity in order to help combat your chronic illness. If this is the case then this can cause some people to feel that their body is in some way disfigured, and result in their interest in sex decreasing

Tips on how to make sure you enjoy sex

Below are some tips to help improve your sex life:

  • Time for sex - If there is a time during the day when your illness causes you less discomfort, or you feel less tired at a specific time of day, then try having sex during this period
  • Relax - Have a bath or do whatever it is that gets you relaxed. This will help to make sure you are rested enough for sex
  • What you eat and drink - It is best to wait two hours after eating to have sex, due to the energy your body uses to break down food. Also, cut down on your alcohol and tobacco intake, or even better, don’t consume any at all
  • Medicine - If you use medication to help ease pain then try taking it half an hour before sex
  • Foreplay - Try kissing, touching and oral to get things going, or to replace sexual intercourse
  • Sensate focus - There are physical exercises to help couples discover and pleasure each other’s erogenous zones, without the need for penetration
  • Communicate - Inform your partner what you do and don’t enjoy, and what may cause you pain
  • Try something different - If the missionary position is no longer comfortable then there are a variety of positions that can make sex enjoyable once again
  • Lubricant - There are an assortment of lubricants available for sex, which can help if your vagina is not producing sufficient lubricant itself

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