Sex and chronic pain are not exactly synonymous. And talking about the effect of chronic pain on one’s sex life and intimate relationship is what you might call a “hush, hush” or taboo topic. However, many people living with chronic pain may feel alone, confused or even embarrassed by the issues that pain has on their intimate relationships. So, here goes…the sex talk!
The relationship I have with my husband has undergone numerous changes as a result of my back surgeries and the accompanying chronic pain. One area that has certainly been affected is our ability to be intimate. Pain doesn’t exactly make me feel “sexy.” Not to mention, the numerous pain medications that I take throughout the day can hamper libido. Although my husband would attest to the fact that I am, in his eyes, a wonderful and perfect wife, these issues often make me feel as if I am failing as a spouse and, more importantly, as a woman.
I saw a Facebook post the other day on a chronic pain site where a woman said that sex with her husband was “a chore.” My personal (and professional) advice to those of you in pain is this: try not to let pain stop you from enjoying the connection and love you share with your partner. I know, that is like saying you should try to run on a broken foot, but the truth is there are many things you can try to make sex more enjoyable, even with a chronic pain condition (think “Cosmopolitan” meets “Senior Magazine”). Some suggestions on enhancing your sex life when dealing with chronic pain include:
Do you experience similar issues? What have you found that works for you?
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Last reviewed: 22 Mar 2013