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Lubricants Are A “Must” For Most Of Us In Pain! ~ The Nitty Gritty

Well, it’s true!! When dealing with chronic pain (and most accompanying medicines), our bodies don’t always do what they used to. To help with the physical side of things we may need to use new ways of thinking, speaking, moving and touching as well as invest in some aids for our sex lives – the […]

Which Chronic Pain Medications Affect Your Sex Life?

Whether you are a man or a woman – your sex life with chronic pain may not resemble what it used to.

There are so many different things that may affect your sex and intimacy with chronic pain – and one piece of that puzzle is the very medications that you may need to take to get you through the day. These may also be the same medicines you need to take to bring your pain to a low enough level so you and your partner can attempt having sex or any type of physical intimacy.

Intimacy Without Sex Can Help Build Your Love

For many people, intimacy equals sexual intercourse. However, if you are dealing with a chronic illness and chronic pain – this is not always the case.

Intimacy with your spouse is vital to your relationship, it improves your quality of life as well as giving you a sense of being cherished, loved and fulfills your need for safe touch. If it has been a long time since you and your partner have been sexually intimate, or if the last passionate encounter you both shared was upsetting or painful in some way – intimacy without sex is a very important next step in bringing back the passionate intimate aspect of your committed relationship…

My Partner Has Chronic Pain – Addressing Intimacy With My Partner

Life may have been turned upside for a while, and now your partner has the challenge of living with chronic pain.  The thing is – even though you aren’t feeling the physical pain, there are many aspects of its effects that will make changes in your life also.  One of those aspects is the intimate […]

Lubricants Are A “Must” For Most Of Us In Pain! ~ The Nitty Gritty

Well, it’s true!!

When dealing with chronic pain (and most accompanying medicines), our bodies don’t always do what they used to. To help with the physical side of things we may need to use new ways of thinking, speaking, moving and touching as well as invest in some aids for our sex lives – the same as we do in other areas of our lives when dealing with chronic pain.

Quite often we need to use lubricants for foreplay and sexual intercourse when dealing with chronic pain – but why, and aren’t all lubricants made equal???

Why do I need lubricant now when I never used to?

There are two main reasons that you and your partner may need to start using lubricant (if you haven’t been before)

* It isn’t just because the chronic pain causes us discomfort – although it is one of (if not, THE) main issues for vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex. We may also be experiencing anxiety about intimacy and sex, be dealing with our own feelings towards our partner, worried about our relationships, be experiencing concerns about falling pregnant and many other things – and this applies to both the partner with pain AND the one without it. Men and women may need more genital stimulation and lubricant may be needed because of sensitivity, dryness, and the skin being more thin and delicate than usual.

* Medications often taken for chronic pain can interfere with libido, and arousal. Mucous membranes are often a lot dryer from opioid therapy, antidepressants almost any other medicines, so even if our libido, arousal and mental/emotional state are like they used to be – vaginal dryness can still an issue. Also, because of steroids and other medicines are used to treat chronic pain, they can cause thinning of the skin and therefore discomfort for both women and men.

Whats is the best lubricant?

I will be doing a review on different brands in an upcoming post and will share my honest opinion – I would love if any of you could email me with any specific brands you would like me to review. Look out for it, and I will link it below.

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Which Chronic Pain Medications Affect Your Sex Life?

Whether you are a man or a woman – your sex life with chronic pain may not resemble what it used to.

There are so many different things that may affect your sex and intimacy with chronic pain – and one piece of that puzzle is the very medications that you may need to take to get you through the day.  These may also be the same medicines you need to take to bring your pain to a low enough level so you and your partner can attempt having sex or any type of physical intimacy.

Please note:  Do NOT stop taking any of your medications abruptly – except in a life-threatening emergency, and always speak to your doctor or health-care professional about any side effects you are having or changing your medication in any way

Tablets both can help and hinder our sex and intimacyMedicines can both can help and hinder our sex and intimacy

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

These medicines work by changing the body’s production and use of prostaglandins as well as alleviating swelling, in order to relieve pain.  Common NSAIDs are ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen, with some available over the counter and others available by prescription only.  This article helps explain how regular use can lead to erectile dysfunction in men of a more advanced age.

In a 2002 study, approximately 47 percent of the volunteers were regular NSAID users (defined as taking NSAIDs at least five days a week or having a prescription for frequent, daily use). Of that group, moderate or severe ED was reported in more than 29 percent. However, NSAID use and ED correlated strongly with age. Regular NSAID use increased from 34.5 percent in men aged 45 to 49 years to 54.7 percent in men aged 60 to 69 years, and ED increased from 13 to 42 percent in these age groups

Erectile dysfunction can make the male spouse feel as if he is inadequate, emasculated and like he “can’t perform” in the bedroom – and can lead to loss of self esteem, shame and anxiety concerning intimacy and sex.  His spouse may have similar feelings that they are not attractive enough, not desirable enough, and that they don’t know how to please their spouse intimately and sexually – which can also lead to their loss of confidence and self-esteem, feeling ashamed and frustrated as well as anxiety about intimacy and sex.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

These antidepressants work by changing the neurotransmitters in the brain, helping to relieve some of the depression as well as chronic or persistent pain.  Some of the most commonly prescribed tricyclics for chronic pain are Amiltriptyline and Nortriptyline, and they work against the pain by helping to turn off the pain signal from the nerve to the spinal cord and thereby dampening the “pain message”.  Not only do they often cause you to feel a somewhat drowsy, I find that Nortriptyline is the medicine out of all I take that has the greatest effect on my sexual/intimate life, however each person is different and the side effects of each medicine is different for each person.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

A newer class of antidepressants, SNRIs work by changing the neurotransmitters in the brain and can alleviate depression and anxiety effectively for some people.  Effexor, Pristiq and Cymbalta are all SNRIs, and are also prescribed for chronic pain patients because they share with tricyclic antidepressants the function of increasing norepinephrine and helping with persistent or chronic pain.  SNRIs can lower your libido, as well as cause delayed orgasm or inability to achieve it – however in general they seem to have a slightly less of a negative effect on sexuality and intimacy as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).

Anticonvulsants

Although you may not experience seizures or have epilepsy, your pain specialist may prescribe you an anticonvulsant like Neurontin, Tegretol or Lyrica for the nerve pain.  According to this article on eMedtv, between 1 out of 100 to 1 in 1000 experience loss of sex drive, delayed orgasm, erectile dysfunction and inability to achieve orgasm.  On the flip side, there are some that experience increased libido, however that number is thought to be less than 1 in 1000 patients according to the article.

Opiates

When experiencing moderate to severe pain opiates may be prescribed to a patient, yet these medicines can be controversial and many people have strong feelings on either side of the “pro” or “anti” argument.  Regardless of the politics, these pain killers (I think they should be called “pain dampeners” myself because I and many others I know don’t have all their pain relieved by them, but definitely experience less pain) can be mean the difference for some chronic pain patients between being unable to get out of bed or off the couch, and being able to take part in life.

Opiates can be delivered in many forms: transdermal patch, liquid, lollipop (sucker), tablet/pill and injection, with medicines like Fentanyl (Durogesic), Oxycodone (OxyContin), Hydrocodone (Vicodin) to name a few.  Of course there are some significant negatives to taking this class of medication, and some of those include side effects that interfere with healthy sexual function.  These medicines generally dry out your mucous membranes, and women may experience vaginal dryness leading to painful sexual intercourse/intimacy.  Your libido may be lowered by opiates, as well as there being an increased chance of urinary issues and changes in your (or your partner’s) mood which may make it more difficult to feel intimate.

If you find that you are taking any of these medicines

and you feel that they have affected your sexual and intimate life, please be open and talk to your specialist or doctor.  It can be as simple as tweaking when you take your medicines, or planning time for sex and intimacy around when you feel best and the medicines you take have as small of an effect as possible.  Be creative, be open, be honest and communicate with both your health-care professionals and your partner!

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Intimacy Without Sex Can Help Build Your Love

For many people, intimacy equals sexual intercourse.  However, if you are dealing with a chronic illness and chronic pain – this is not always the case.

Intimacy can exist without sex - let it build build your love!Intimacy with your spouse is vital to your relationship, it improves your quality of life as well as giving you a sense of being cherished, loved and fulfills your need for safe touch.  If it has been a long time since you and your partner have been sexually intimate, or if the last passionate encounter you both shared was upsetting or painful in some way – intimacy without sex is a very important next Read more

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My Partner Has Chronic Pain – Addressing Intimacy With My Partner

Life may have been turned upside for a while, and now your partner has the challenge of living with chronic pain.  The thing is – even though you aren’t feeling the physical pain, there are many aspects of its effects that will make changes in your life also.  One of those aspects is the intimate and sexual relationship you have always enjoyed with your partner. Read more

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Having Chronic Pain – Addressing Intimacy With My Partner

Sex and intimacy is very important in any relationship… but what happens now that you are experiencing chronic pain?  Both you and your spouse may have concerns and fears, you may be dealing with so much now that your intimate life has been on the back-burner for a while – and you may just not know where to start when it comes to addressing sex and intimacy with your partner. Read more

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Let’s Bring Sex and Intimacy Back – It’s The NEW Black!

If you are suffering from chronic pain – sex and intimacy may not something that you think about as often as you used to… or maybe you do think about it as often, or even more than you used to.  However, just because your thinking about it doesn’t mean that you are thinking about it in a positive manner, or that you can see a time where sex and intimacy can be an enjoyable part of your life.The NEW chronic pain 'LBD'

We all have a need for intimacy, closeness and Read more

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Three Ways Chronic Pain Affects Sex and Intimacy

Intimacy is important to ALL peopleChronic pain affects the individual’s body and quality of life in many ways – pain medications and side effects, depression, anxiety, less (or loss) of the ability to keep gainful employment, needing a carer, having less ability to participate socially, changes in body shape, weakness, and decreased self-esteem and confidence are among some of these changes that may be experienced.

So when it comes to intimacy and sexuality – what are some of the changes that chronic pain patients may experience? Read more

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What is “Chronic Pain”?

Chronic pain can affect any part of your body“Chronic pain” is the diagnosis (or named symptom) given when you have pain that persists longer than around three months.

Sometimes chronic pain can be traced back to a specific injury that you have received, and now your nervous system is caught in this ‘pain loop’.  For some people, their chronic pain is associated with a condition eg. arthritis, fibromyalgia, or many other diseases and disorders.  There are also some that have chronic pain of some sort, who can not trace the onset of their pain to any event or illness. Read more

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