The first time I was ever asked this question was three years ago during an interview. I didn’t give an answer back then, and to be honest, I never gave it a thought again until a few weeks ago when the question popped up again during a conversation. Apparently, a few people, including friends, had been wondering if I still had a sex life even with Myasthenia Gravis. Some already assumed and concluded that my husband’s desire would be reduced or non-existent because of Myasthenia Gravis. It’s easy to draw conclusions or have imaginations when you are not personally living with this disease, but imagination is not what we face. This life is reality for us.
When you are living with MG, you are exhausted almost all the time. It feels like you are constantly running low on battery especially by the end of the day.
When a “normal” non-myasthenic has had a long hard day and is tired, they cannot enjoy sex. Now with a myasthenic, the exhaustion is multiplied by a thousand, so sex is usually the last thing on our minds.
Another way MG affects us is through the side effects of some of the medications used in its treatment. The drug at the top of my list is Prednisone, with the side effect of weight gain and decreased libido.
The society preaches that being slim is sexy. Now imagine when you cannot keep your slim figure, how would you feel? Would you still feel sexy? Of course not. The weight gain affects our self-esteem and self-confidence, they plummet like and “elevator falling from the penthouse floor” (you get what I mean, right?). and when you don’t feel sexy, you tend to avoid sex.
So, the question is: how do you get around this? Or how do you still enjoy a good sex life in spite of MG?
With regards to the exhaustion, I would recommend knowing your body. Know the time of day when you have the most strength (when your battery life feels full) and schedule sex then. Yes, I know scheduling sex might not seem appealing or sound sexy but you have to adjust your life because it is what it is. You have been given lemons, so try to make lemonade!
And with regards to the weight gain and the “new look”, my suggestion would be to accept your new normal! I watched an old movie in which I heard this, “Big is the new sexy”. Feeling sexy starts in the mind! Try to accept who you are now – love yourself for who you are and in no time, your partner will also learn to accept the new you.
To answer the question that has been thrown to me a couple of times – No, Myasthenia Gravis has not negatively affected my sex life. And to others like me, don’t let Myasthenia Gravis and its associated baggage keep you from enjoying your sex life either!
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