It is always important to know what is going on in the world of COPD/Asthma, hence a weekly (at the minimum) posting of ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ – because those of us battling the issue should always be up to date on what is going on, and that includes both the positives and the negatives of the COPD/Asthma life.
Here we share part two of a two-part set, offering a discussion on the ‘Factors Associated with COPD Life Expectancy’.
Special Note – This writer is married and was diagnosed with late Stage 3 COPD three months after surviving a major heart attack. Those two medical incidents have made our marriage stronger in most all areas and more challenging in several others, with intimacy and sex being one of them. How we are doing is personal, but this write has some solid information for those who face the same challengers and fears.
So – here is the first, of three-sets discussing ‘9 Points for Better Sex and Intimacy when you have COPD’.
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(This article was found within the expanded world of the internet and was written seven years past with a review by Brunilda Nazario, MD.)
‘9 Tips for Better Sex and Intimacy when You have COPD’
By Katherine Kam
If you or your partner are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you may be wondering what effect COPD will have on your sexuality. Will sex be possible? Will it be safe? Satisfying?
COPD symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath will almost certainly change the way you and your partner express yourselves sexually. But that doesn’t mean you must bid adieu to sex or other forms of physical intimacy.
Of course, good sex isn’t automatic when COPD is in the picture. To get things right, it’s essential to talk about sex with your partner (or, if you’re single, with prospective partners).
“I tell my patients to approach the subject openly and directly,” says Robert A. (Sandy) Sandhaus, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at National Jewish Health hospital in Denver and a member of the medical and scientific advisory board of the COPD Foundation. “Starting the conversation is often the most important step — and the biggest hump to get over.”
If you’re uncomfortable with a face-to-face talk, consider communicating with your partner or prospective partner via telephone or letter. Make it clear what you want and expect from sex, ask what your partner wants and expects, and do your best to agree upon the steps you’ll take together to overcome any sexual problems that arise.
Here are nine helpful strategies for sex and intimacy when you have COPD:
- Get Fit
Not sure you or your partner has the stamina for sex? Ramping up your fitness regimens might prove helpful.
Maybe it would help to initiate a program of walking or gentle exercises. Perhaps it would make sense to join — or rejoin — a local hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation program.
“Rehab programs aren’t limited to people who are newly diagnosed with COPD,” says COPD specialist Teresa T. Goodell, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “They‘re for anyone who needs to build exercise tolerance. They provide a safe place to exercise and help show people with COPD that it’s safe to exercise.”
Rehab programs typically meet once or twice a week for up to six months.
- Pick the Right Time
Good sex needn’t require expending lots of energy. “The energy requirements for sex aren’t that different from the energy requirements for doing other things,” says Barbara Rogers, president and CEO of the Emphysema/COPD Association in New York City.
“If you can walk up two flights of stairs or walk briskly, you can probably handle sex,” she says.
Still, people with COPD sometimes become fatigued during sex. To make sure you or your partner doesn’t poop out, schedule sexual encounters for a time of day when the partner with COPD feels most energetic.
True, scheduling sex means forgoing the spontaneity that often makes for good sex. But requesting sex in the form of a flirtatious note can add a dash of excitement. Or you and your partner might wink at one another (or come up with another sign) to indicate that you’d like to “turn in early.” Make scheduling sex an erotic game, not a chore.
(In set two we will read about ridding your bedroom of irritants, getting a fan, taking your medications and consider supplemental oxygen.)
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‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ will continue to feature writings from medical folks and caretakers who share insights into the world of what may be going on in the world of COPD/Asthma. ‘Notes to Know about COPD/Asthma’ can be found at either wheezingaway.com or within the Facebook page, COPD Travels.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)
NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.