Sexuality support during Medical conditions

Sexuality support during Medical conditions

An illness often causes drastic changes, also in the sexual area. What effects are there?

Physical Effects
Some diseases have a direct impact on the body. This is the case, for example, with disorders of the nervous, vascular or hormonal system. People who suffer from this notice that their body does not respond well to sexual stimuli. They have less sex drive or, for example, are not aroused when touched, while they were before the disease. Or the feeling is different: the genitals may be less sensitive and the orgasm may feel less strong or fail to occur. In men, they may have an erection less often and in women the vagina may become less moist. These direct influences usually cannot be removed, but often there is a way to deal with them. If you have trouble getting excited, you can look for extra stimulation. Such as fantasies, exciting stories or aids such as a vibrator. A lubricant can also contribute to arousal and help if a woman suffers from a dry vagina.

A chronic illness can also have an indirect influence. In other words, sexual life changes due to the symptoms of the disease, such as pain, stiffness, fatigue, loss of energy, balance disorder, incontinence or paralysis. An external change can also influence the experience of sexuality.

Psychological Effects
An illness sometimes requires someone to deal with sexuality in a different way. Things that were possible before the disease are sometimes no longer possible. This can lead to feelings of sadness and grief (“I have lost so much”) or to feelings of anger (“why me?”). If someone finds it difficult to adapt to the changes and sees them as a decline, it can affect their sexual life. Avoiding sex is a common reaction. However, it may also be the case that someone sees the changes as a challenge to look for different or new ways to experience sexuality.
• Share sexual fantasies with your partner, in situations where there is very little physically possible.
• Ensure intimacy and a good atmosphere. For example, by showing interest, touching each other casually or giving compliments.
• Discover which areas of the body give arousal when touched.

Altered Body Image
An illness can also cause someone else to look at themselves. A person may be less sure about their own body or find themselves unattractive, for example due to scarring, weight gain due to medication or changes in appearance. This can affect the way a person deals with sexuality. If someone thinks negatively about themselves, he or she may think that the (sexual) limitations are greater than they actually are.

Getting familiar with the new body and rediscovering the beautiful sides of the body takes time, precisely because you are constantly confronted with the lack. If a person eventually manages to become familiar with the body again, there is a good chance that he or she will also be more open to sex and intimacy.

It also happens that the sex drive does not return after a disease has been successfully treated. Sometimes people feel insecure. Or they suffer from fear of, for example, a new heart attack or a new brain haemorrhage. These fears can also play a role in the partner who is healthy. A well-known reaction of people who are ill for a long time is that they 'switch off' the feelings in their body. In doing so, they unintentionally switch off their sexual feelings.

Medicines and surgeries
Some medications have side effects that can affect sex. Some medicines reduce the sex drive, others can cause problems with erection or a dry vagina, for example. Or they can cause orgasm problems. Surgery can also affect sex. After surgery, the body needs to recover. The wound can hurt, the medication can have side effects and the physical recovery can take energy. In addition, many people who have had surgery don't feel that attractive. All these things can cause the desire to make love to diminish or disappear. The lack of privacy associated with hospitalization or admission to a nursing facility can also affect sexual life.

The most important thing in all of these situations is to talk about it openly with each other and take the time to work your way through it. Give each other self-confidence, be open to new experiences and try out various possibilities of intimacy.

Lubricant products to support Medical conditions