RA and Sex
People often ask, can a couple have sex with RA and the answer is yes, definitely, but not every day, some days the person suffering from RA is just too exhausted or in too much pain to even want any form of intimacy,
Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis definitely puts a strain on a couples sex life and intimacy but by having an open mind and communicating with your spouse or significant other it is possible to maintain intimacy and even enjoy a healthy sex life.
Some things however need to be considered.
There are days when the pain is too great, or the exhaustion is too strong to even want to consider intimacy. It’s difficult enough on these days to make it through the day, and, on these days to have a spouse who is understanding of this will help to increase the desire for intimacy on the good days.
Perhaps if a couple has a signal to indicate these days, so there is no pressure it could help keep the intimacy alive on the better days. Another option would be some form of signal showing that today is a good day, open to intimacy.
Some medications can and will affect sexual desire. Be aware of the side effects of the medication you are taking and share with your spouse any symptoms you notice in regards to sexual function.
For women it is important to feel attractive and often RA denies women of this because of the changes that have occurred, some of which include;
Possible Weight gain because of reduced mobility, or medication that causes an increase in weight.
Loss of mobility, or feeling like you’ve aged overnight due to the pain and suffering
Fear of being touched because of pain
Feeling ill due to medication side effects, the list goes on.
For men the challenges are slightly different;
Feeling like less of a man due to limited abilities to complete tasks around the home or to protect and support the family because of the pain and suffering.
Side effects from some medications affecting the man’s ability to maintain an erection.
For the spouse it’s important not to feel rejected because of these challenges, this is where keeping an open mind and good communication is very important.
Intimacy can be non physical on days where the pain is too great. Learning to talk about desires and erotic dreams can be one way of connecting with your spouse and showing him or her that you are still in the relationship, wanting all of the intimacy during the periods of time when it’s just not possible.
Through practice each couple can find positions that work best for the limitations the RA symptoms have created. Be creative, and look at this as an adventure rather than focusing on the loss. It is really only a loss if we allow it to be.
Intimacy is extremely important not only to the marriage but also to the person suffering from RA. Being intimate will take your mind off of everything else including the pain of RA.
There is scientific evidence showing that when you have an orgasm, you release morphine like, feel-good chemicals that override pain. Sex can be the best prescription for good health.
Always remember, sex begins in the mind, keeping open and honest, making sex fun and relaxing encourages maximum desire for intimacy.
I share this information with you because as i was going through the challenges of RA there was little information to be found, and, having lived through years of suffering I made many mistakes.
My hope is that as I share this information with you, and your spouse, you can avoid some of the mistakes we made in our journey to recovering from RA.
A marriage that has a good foundation can last through this challenge and I hope that I have been of some help in your finding a way to maintain a healthy sex life while living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and all it's challenges.