Sexual dysfunction can be a frustrating and even painful side effect of many chronic conditions. In addition to diseases that can set your hormones wildly out of balance, not feeling well adversely impacts your sexual health in a host of other ways, from the stress of diagnosis to the everyday grind of managing chronic pain.
At Vibrant Woman Health Center, Dr. Patricia Nevils supports patients in the Lafayette, Louisiana, area who are dealing with sexual dysfunction due to a variety of causes, including chronic health and disease-related issues.
She can help you learn more about the chronic diseases that can adversely impact your sexual health, and find strategies to revive your libido and more fully enjoy your sex life.
Sexual side effects
You can suffer from sexual dysfunction as a direct result of your illness, or as a result of your treatment. If you have lung cancer or heart disease, shortness of breath might prevent you from enjoying sexual activity. Some cancers cause urinary issues that can be painful or embarrassing.
Fatigue and nausea from your chemotherapy treatment can also damage your sex life. In some cases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, your prescription medication may cause side effects that negatively impact your sexual function.
If your chronic condition involves hormonal changes or problems, you may experience lowered libido or vaginal tightness or dryness. Hormone replacement therapies are available to supplement your natural supply and can restore your libido to normal levels.
If you have a degenerative condition like Parkinson’s Disease, you may need to change your approach to sex to accommodate your changing physical needs. With guidance and support, you can continue to experience full sexual function, reconnecting with your partner in a new way.
Stressed out of the mood
When you’re struggling with a chronic disease, the things that support your sex life, like intimacy, time away from daily routines, and physical experiences of pleasure, can be hard to maintain. In times of stress, you may drop everything but the essential, leaving your love life on the floor.
If you’re living with a chronic condition, learning how to manage or work around stress will be key to regaining your sexual health. It might not seem like it in a moment of crisis, but your sexual well-being is important, and it’s worth taking the time to restore that part of your life.
Work with your partner to re-establish your intimacy. Try strategies to deal with the stresses that come with managing your chronic condition, including the help of a therapist or counselor if needed.
Depending on your symptoms, you might need to use supports like heat or medication to avoid pain during sex. Dr. Nevils can advise you on the best steps to take to restore your sexual health to its full flower.
Time to center your sexual needs
Remember that problems with sexual health are a normal part of dealing with disease, not a source of shame or a sign of personal failure. It’s just as normal to talk to your doctor about sexual health as it would be to bring up any other adverse side effects of a condition or treatment.
Help is available, and in many cases your sexual problems can be successfully treated with the right therapies. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Nevils, call our office today, or book your appointment online.