Monday, September 17, 2012

Intimacy and Fibro: The nuts and bolts of the pelvic floor

A hug a day keeps the psychiatrist away, right?

There are different forms of intimacy, and as human beings we all need and crave affection.  However, for the fibromyalgia patient sexual intimacy may be altered, particularly if you have pelvic floor dysfunction, impotence, endometriosis, vulvodynia, irritable bladder or interstitial cystitis known to co-occur more frequently in FM.

Be sure to discuss any problems with your doctor.  If you have a uro-gynecologist, a gynecologist that specializes in female urology, all the better.  They can help you get treatments that will improve pelvic floor pain and enhance your feelings for intimacy.  And if you are a man with fibro, discuss your problems with intimacy with a urologist.

Myofascial trigger points, part of myofascial pain syndrome, are great peripheral pain generators to FM, can cause a great deal of pelvic pain too.  In men it can cause impotence as well as pain, and for both men and women they can cause urgency and urinary retention and the pain can also include the rectum and bowel. 

Here is a great handout from UCSF/SFSU GRADUATE PROGRAM IN
PHYSICAL THERAPY on understanding trigger points and the pelvic floor.  Please note trigger points from other locations can cause referred pain, numbness and dysfunction.

Make sure your vaginal area is moist because dry membranes, also prevalent in FM, can cause irritation and increase the risk of infection. 

If the pain is too severe, explore other ways of being intimate with your partner.

All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press and are not meant to replace medical advice.

Contributing author to Fibromyalgia Insider Secrets: 10 Top Experts, 2nd Ed. Ebook complied by Deirdre Rawlings, ND, PhD

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