May 9th, 2017
Feeling emotionally strangled is very common in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Patient often feel anxious, distressed and embarrassed and fret about their relationship. These emotional changes may result from IBD symptoms that make the patients very uncomfortable about their situation and they may panic about painful sex, body odor, having to go to loo during sex and unwanted adverse reaction of inflammatory bowel disease medications on their sex life.
It is ideal to discuss everything with the partner and the consulting doctor. It may feel difficult at first but it will only help in getting through this phase. As the cliché goes that every cloud has a silver lining, similarly the disease phase is followed by remission phase and a healthy normal life.
Being completely open and honest does not only help get past the embarrassment but also makes the relationship more intimate. However, this does not mean to inform the partner initially with every tiny detail of the disease. Taking everything a step at a time and building the right image of the condition gradually can be of great help. This boosts the confidence of the patients by being completely honest to their partner and also helps in overcoming their fears regarding intimacy. Educating the partner with authenticity and patience is the key to a happy stabilized relationship, which may appear difficult in the beginning but with time, everything will work out just fine.
Having trouble with sex especially pain during intercourse may be a red flag for inflammatory bowel disease patients. Consulting a doctor and seeking medical assistance is important at this point before things get out of hand.
Intimacy is often mistaken with sex, but it is not just sex. One may feel intimate with only cuddling, touching or kissing without sex being involved. Therefore, intimacy can be achieved in many ways based on what seems more comfortable.
It is alright to have physical relation on the bottom of the priority list because the struggle to get through IBD symptoms may seem too much but there are few approaches that can help the patient feel a little better.
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