How can disability affect my sex life?

Some women are born with a chronic disease or disability, like cystic fibrosis or blindness, or develop one later in life, like multiple sclerosis or bipolar disorder. Women have unique feelings and attitudes about their sexuality and their disability. They seek fulfillment of their sexual desires and want to feel good about how they express their sexuality. Yet, they find that some people, including health care providers, assume that they are childlike and sexless Disability may trigger feelings of alienation or disconnection from their bodies, causing shame and embarrassment. Reclaiming your bodies for positive experiences of sexuality takes time and patience, as well as experimentation and support. When one partner is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability, you may need to learn new ways of communicating, such as American Sign Language. Like anything else in your lives, sexual expression is better when you focus on what you can do rather than on what you cannot. Certain chronic illnesses and disabilities, such as fibromyalgia and some spinal cord injuries have associated pain, so there may be times when you want sex but cannot bear to be touched. However, some women have discovered that direct stimulation of their genitals can help block the pain and take their minds someplace else. Members of the disability community have taught the medical establishment much about sexuality over the years. It has finally validated what we knew all along—that orgasms are real and can result from stimulating our genitals or other highly eroticized places on our bodies.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.