After illness, injury or ostomy, sexual problems are very common but often difficult to talk about.
Sometimes it is particularly difficult to talk to your healthcare team about sexual matters. Perhaps they are focussed on some other aspect of your recovery, maybe there is no sex therapy service at your hospital, or, maybe you just want to keep your sex life out of that environment. Maybe things only really came to a head a long while after your care finished, or maybe you have been thinking about looking for help for ages while also hoping things would get better by themselves….
Sexual problems have an impact on a person’s sense of wellbeing and fulfillment, their self-esteem, confidence and social interaction. This can be strongly magnified if you have already suffered similar feelings as a result of illness or injury. It can make it difficult to talk to your partner or to ask for your sexual needs to be met, it can put extra strain on already stress-filled relationships and feel lonely and depressing.
Normally as people age, their bodies and sex lives change slowly and they adapt alongside those changes. When someone is ill or injured, the consequences can be sudden and sometimes critical. Life looks different, bodies look and sometimes behave differently and how you think and feel about all of that becomes difficult to overcome. It is no surprise that people require help so that the sex life can adapt. It is entirely normal to be concerned about your sexual future… just because you have a ‘diagnosis’ shouldn’t make you any less ‘you’.
Sex therapy offers a safe space and dedicated time to talk about the changes you have experienced… with someone whose role it is to really listen and guide you.
By understanding the physical changes and the psychological and emotional impact (on you both), sex therapy encourages great communication, collaboration and creativity to regain sexual satisfaction.
While I could give you a long list of common problems – from erectile dysfunction to loss of sexual interest – I am not sure of the value of doing so. The ‘problem’ is yours – you tell me. What I can promise you is that I will always treat you as individuals and if I feel I cannot help, or that another approach would be better, I will tell you.