I know you have all probably been wondering about this topic and when I would address it; the truth is that I've wanted to for a while but I avoided it because I really didn't have any personal stories to pull from. I mean why would I want to know about the sexual escapades or struggles of my siblings? I dont have SCD so I have no stories of my own to tell either but I am aware that it's a subject matter that may or may not interest many so I will be talking about it today albeit from a 'research' perspective in the hopes that I will be able to shed a little bit of light on this topic.
I've always said on this blog that my late brother and I were extremely close and while he shared many things with me, naturally some others he did not - and with good reason as you can imagine. I know that he suffered from Priapism as a complication of his sickle cell and as you already know, this does not happen because of any kind of sexual stimulation. You can read the post I have on this if you don't already know what it's about. Sex with sickle cell leads many to ask or wonder how "sicklers" are able to have sex and if they experience crisis afterwards. As far as I know, sickle cell does not prevent or disturb sexual pleasure/intercourse but of course, there are guiding rules or principles that are advised for both men and women in order to have a truly fulfilling experience:
1. Listen to & understand your body - If during sex, pain is felt, the best thing to do is to STOP. This is because you do not want to restrict blood flow to any area of the body.
2. Stay hydrated - Drink water before, during and after sex because you will sweat and lose body fluid in the act and by now we know that the one major recommendation for controlling a crisis is to drink lots of water.
3. Be open with your partner - It is very important to communicate with your partner before engaging in sexual activity so that he/she is aware of your physical limitations. There is no point in doing the kama sutra if you are only going to end up in the E.R afterwards. Some may advise changing positions often during sex however so that blood flows easily to all parts of the body as I said in the No 1 guideline.
4. Take medication beforehand - If you fear or have experienced a mild crisis after sex previously, it can serve you well to take pain meds before sex to guard against it happening.
5. Make your environment conducive - Operating under the conventional assumption that sex is taking place in the bedroom, make sure that it is not too hot or too cold to avoid quick dehydration or suffer any vaso-constriction respectively. Even in the event that sex is taking place elsewhere, make it a point to ensure that the temerature conditions of your environment are favourable to your condition.
6. Always practice safe sex - Be sure to use condoms and other preventive measures during sex for obvious reasons of avoiding pregnancy and contracting infections that could both be detrimental to your health.
Having sickle cell anemia therefore does not and should not prevent anyone from the pleasures of sex only if the above guidelines are observed. Non sickle cell partners should be understanding and not make any ridiculous demands on your body. Neither should you feel the need to overtax yourself if you have sickle cell simply in an effort to please.
Did I miss out anything? Please share any other suggestions you think should be applied in the comments.
Thank you for stopping by.