Keeping Intimacy – Fibromyalgia in Romantic Relationships
When the lights are low and the kids are tucked carefully under their blankets, it is a perfect time for couples to have intimate moments in the bedroom. While some couples can excitedly prepare for a steamy night full of passion, if a partner has fibromyalgia, it might be a different story. For example, a woman with fibromyalgia might feel tingly sensations throughout her limbs that slowly gain in intensity, as if an invisible, angry crowd has surrounded her and is pricking her with a thousand sewing needles. Unable to bear the pain, this woman regretfully has to tell her better half that she cannot be intimate tonight, much like the last time, before quietly drifting off into the realm of sleep to escape the pain.
Patients suffering from fibromyalgia experience widespread pain, stiffness, tenderness in the body, and fatigue, particularly in the joints and muscles. While it is a given that these symptoms of fibromyalgia can interfere with a person’s normal daily functions, such as working, sleeping, and relaxing, many patients with this disease have found that their condition also has an impact on their relationships with other people as well, particularly with their intimate relationships.
Individuals who are suffering from fibromyalgia also face many challenges when it comes to maintaining intimacy or a healthy sex life in their relationships. The individual may experience a loss of libido or, if they are having sexual intercourse, then they may also face issues with their sexual performance. There may also be another instance wherein the individual’s libido is just fine and healthy, but the stiffness and pain in the muscles caused by their disease may end up ruining the enjoyment of sex, both for the fibromyalgia sufferer as well as their partner. Those individuals who suffer from chronic medical conditions often face such issues concerning intimacy and sex. But it is important to have a healthy sex life in one’s relationship for several reasons. Sex is known not only to strength one’s intimate relationship with their partner, thereby making the relationship stronger, but intercourse is also known to boost endorphins. These are the body’s natural opioids, which on their own help in a way to reduce the pain as well as increase the overall well-being of the individual. In such cases, it is important to speak openly to your doctor so that they can provide useful and practical tips to get this problem resolved.
There are certain drugs and medications that are taken during one’s course of treatment for fibromyalgia, which include milnacipran, SSRIs, and duloxetine, and these are known to cause a decrease in one’s sex life. So, any problems with being intimate should be brought to the doctor’s attention, as they can make certain small changes in the medication or its dosage to reduce or even eliminate the problems in your sex life. But do not make any changes in your medication’s dosage or start or stop any others without the consent of the doctor. At certain times, it is also important to self-manage certain symptoms of this disease, since they could also end up being a possible hurdle that prevents you from enjoying sex. You can also make changes in your lifestyle to boost your sex life as well.
Most of the time, patients with fibromyalgia tend to give up on romantic intimacy for fear of being injured or suffering too much pain. But one can still get intimate with their partner. Since there are certain tender points and pain to be taken note of with this disease, one would need to work with their partner to find the most comfortable method of carrying out sex. It is important to take it slow and be patient so that you find the best sexual position that will help you fully enjoy sex without causing pain or injury to your body. Stress is known to be a trigger for the symptoms of fibromyalgia, so managing stress is very important to help boosting your libido. Soaking yourself in a warm bath as well can help to provide relief from the pain, thereby allowing you to enjoy your sex life.