Straight Talk About Sex
Until reading an article yesterday, it never crossed my mind how health challenges, specific to women, may have serious effects on our sex lives.
When I formed the DOS Facebook Group, it was clearly stated that the conversations were not only secret but for “big women.” In my country of origin, Jamaica, that would actually be “big ooman,” and “big” was really redundant as “ooman” on its own means that you are a certain age and experience level.
This blog, while open to members of the public 18+ is similar. The conversations here touch on everything that affects our lives and relating as human beings one to another. Although my last formal educational pursuit was in theology and spirituality, my views and way of being in the world are very practical.
It should now make sense why one of the categories here is “Practical Spirituality.” As a woman of African-descent, my spiritual life is very much intertwined with my daily living. No separation. May this then serve as a warning to new or even repeat visitors that the conversations here will be open, practical, without the hype and reflect everything that I have lived.
Much to chagrin of many of my colleagues and professors at the Catholic theological college that I attended, one could often hear me say that I will not offer confessions to a priest – one because I am not Catholic. Two because anything that must be shared with Source can come straight from my mouth to His/Her ears. My third reason was very practical – how can a person who has never had, or claims never to have had sex understand the journey of a woman with a past?
Read an article about “How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage,” and slapped my forehead.
Eight to nine years into my longest relationship, I started losing weight without explanation. The rapid weight loss, accompanied by extreme fatigue soon led to almost complete immobility. My then partner literally scrapped me up and took me to the doctor, who after a battery of tests a week or so later told me that I had Graves disease. My eyes were not bulged and have never, but most of the other symptoms were present.
Months later, after more tests and radiation treatment, my health started to return to its former level – not too bad. To this day, medical professionals still “play” with my dosage of “Synthroid,” one of the many medications that are prescribed to me. This one, in particular, helps to keep my T4 levels where it is supposed to be and “…treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). Synthroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), which can be caused by hormone imbalances, radiation treatment, surgery, or cancer.
As I read this article it dawned on me that none of the medical professionals told me the impact that the condition was having on my emotional state. Looking back, along with other issues not least of which was self-esteem, my relationship deteriorated and would come to an abrupt though not surprisingly end.
Taking Responsibility For Our Well-being
Dana Trentini wrote in her article,
“I share all this with you because I never considered all the different ways marriage is affected by our bodies, the environment, and other factors that we just aren’t considering. Our natural tendency is to blame the other person or complain about why we think things are going awry, and yet it could be something as simple as a medication side effect, an ingredient in a personal care product, or a disease like thyroid disease that are contributing to the tension we feel in the marriage relationship.”
That is exactly what happened with my relationship. Not for a moment am I suggesting that we would be “happily together ever after,” had someone given me a heads up back then. The point is – it would have been good to know and learn earlier how to treat the full slate of complications that an illness such as thyroid disease can trigger.
Just this week, on my day job – the one that affords me the pleasure of following my passion here – my boss and I were talking about some human resources issues. Specifically, we were discussing the need to take responsibility for our health and becoming self-advocates when medical professionals are far too busy to notice how your well-being is affected. That includes your ability to keep up with the job requirements but in this instance – maintaining a happy home and marriage.
We are very much alike, my boss and I, on many levels primarily being outspoken and passionate about our lives, our journeys, and our families.
“You have to sit your doctor down and tell them exactly what is at stake if what they are prescribing or how they are treating your condition is putting your entire way of living and your job in jeopardy,” was what she said as we discussed the issues at hand.
Funny how these things connect.
Diabetes and Sex
By the end of this post you might conclude that this woman “is not getting any!” Would not blame you as the next health challenge that can potentially have a debilitating effect on your sex life is one that I also have.
“When most people hear the words ‘diabetes and sexual dysfunction’, they automatically think it’s the man’s problem. But women with diabetes can also have sexual problems related to their blood sugar levels.”
That is the opening line from an article on WebMD.
My struggles with controlling my blood sugar level started long before becoming aware of having Graves Disease. Both my parents died from the complications of diabetes and for years I was in denial about my own challenges with the disease. One of my former physicians gave me the heads up about diabetes and my sex life but as with everything else about this disease, I brushed it off.
“It’s not diabetes per se that harms your intimate life. It’s the complications of uncontrolled blood sugar levels that cause problems for both men and women — the only difference is that many women simply aren’t as aware of this complication as men are,” Colette Bouchez quoted Ann Albright, Ph.D., RD, of the American Diabetes Association..
It seems that not only are we not talking to our doctors about our sex life similar to what can be seen on websites such as cartoon porno xxx but the doctors are also not telling women what to expect when diabetes is a part of their experience. It might be due to vaginal looseness, if you wanted to improve this manjakani (https://www.skinpro.com/what-is-manjakani-extract/) can help. Its in a lot of anti-ageing products and can really help rejuvinate your vagina.
Low to minimal vaginal lubrication is one of the several side effects of diabetes.According to the report, “it wasn’t until 1971 that a groundbreaking study was published on this subject in the journal Diabetes and in it, “35% of women with diabetes reported being unable to have an orgasm during intercourse, compared to just 6% of the women who didn’t have diabetes.”
If you are challenged by diabetes or have a woman friend who is, here are some tips from that article might use when next you visit with your doctor:
- Bring your problem out into the open.
- Keep your doctor in the loop.
- If you have, in particular, chronic yeast infections that you are treating with over-the-counter preparations, share that information with your doctor.“This is important because chronic yeast infections can be a sign that your blood sugar is not being well controlled.”
My list of “challenges” go further, but let us stop here for today – these two are enough to get us all thinking, acting and speaking up.
Have a beautiful rest of the day and stay connected to Part II of our short story – “The Unfortunate Life Of An Interesting Woman.”
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