The rheumatic diseases like arthritis should not be considered a problem for satisfactory sexual relations, always adapted to the desire and physical condition of each person.
Some lifestyle tips and certain sexual positions can help us have a full and healthy sexuality
This is indicated to CuídatePlus Montserrat Romera, spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER) and professor of Rheumatology at the International University of Catalonia, Barcelona, who considers that communication with the partner is essential when addressing feelings, needs, games and sexual desires.
“We must recognize the importance of pampering, caressing and any physical contact,” says Romera.
But should people with arthritis or other rheumatic disease take any precautions when having sex?
According to this specialist, as practical advice it is recommended to avoid cold temperatures by taking a hot shower or bath before sexual activity, as well as doing without tobacco and alcohol.
“The ideal is to be rested and relaxed and you can take a pain medication 30 minutes before intercourse and apply intimate lubricating gel to minimize discomfort during intercourse in case of vaginal dryness”, Romera lists.
In cases of erectile dysfunction, the SER spokesperson points out that phosphodiesterase inhibitors can be used, always under medical indication, and if they are not contraindicated.
“In the same way that devices are used to help in the kitchen and at work, useful devices can also be recommended for sex,” he adds.
Six Sexual Positions For People With Arthritis Or Other Rheumatic Disease
With regard to which sexual positions are better in case of arthritis or another rheumatic disease, the general guideline is that if the person has difficulties to adopt certain positions due to stiffness or limitation of movement, those positions that are more comfortable and effective are chosen to ease the pain.
In his book Reumasex, Romera collects a series of recommended sexual positions for these patients.
The first of them would be with;
1. The Woman On Her Back And The Man Leaning On His Hands And Knees
This particular position is recommended for men and women with hip problems, including those with a total hip replacement and women with knee and back problems.
On the contrary, this position should be avoided in men with low back pain who are intolerant of trunk flexion and extension.
In Romera’s second proposal;
2. The Man Would Now Be On His Back And The Woman On Her Knees, Supporting Her Own Weight On Her Arms And Knees.
This is a good alternative for men with hip and knee problems, but not for women with hip replacement.
3. The Third Option Places Both On Their Sides, With The Man Behind The Woman
This position is recommended for both men and women with joint pain in the upper and lower limbs.
In the next posture;
4. The Woman Is On Her Back Again With Her Knees Bent And Perpendicular To The Partner, While The Man Is Positioned Laterally
This is a recommendation for women with restricted hip and knee mobility, but not if they have a hip replacement.
This time, they would;
5. Both Be Standing And The Man Behind. This Is An Option For Patients Who Have Difficulty Staying Prone Or On Their Knees
In addition, it is the most advisable sexual position for both sexes in case of hip replacement.
The last proposal would be with;
6. The Woman, On Her Knees, Leaning On The Bed, While The Man Stands Behind
This position is suitable for women with hip problems, although not for people with recent knee surgeries or low back pain.
The Medical Consultation, Key In Sexuality
“An open and honest communication between the patient, the doctor and his partner – if it is the case – in relation to sexual needs and concerns has to be promoted: there are communication techniques that can be used so that the patient has the opportunity to speak of their sexuality through open questions to establish what their real concerns are”, explains Romera.
At this point, the SER spokesperson acknowledges that sexuality is not usually addressed in the consultations nor is it referred to in the questionnaires used to assess the quality of life of these patients.
“The evaluation of sexual problems requires valid and reliable instruments that are easy to apply. In this sense, a questionnaire (Qualisex) developed and validated in France for patients with rheumatoid arthritis has been validated in our country”, emphasizes Romera.
In this regard, this specialist warns that with this questionnaire it will be possible to evaluate, both in clinical practice and in research, the sexuality of these patients, an aspect that has a direct impact on quality of life. To see more post on Physical & Mental Health click here.