Straight. Real. That is what Daughters of Sheba has always been about. Now that we are an official nonprofit organization, we will still keep it real.
Wrote about this many years ago but it bears repeating. Until reading a particular article, it never crossed my mind how health challenges, specific to women, may have serious effects on our sex lives.
Straight Talk About Sex
When I formed the Daughters of Sheba Facebook Group back in 2010, 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.” The “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. As well, they cover our relating as human beings one to another. Although my last formal, postgraduate, educational pursuit was in theology and spirituality, my views and way of being in the world are very practical.
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. The conversations here are open, practical, without the hype. They reflect everything our realities.
Sickness And Sex
The article that “woke” me up was “How Thyroid Disease Affects Marriage.”
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 scraped me up and took me to the doctor. After a battery of tests, a week or so later he told me that I had Graves disease. My eyes have never bulged 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.
As I read this particular 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, my relationship deteriorated and would come to an abrupt though not surprising end.
Straight Talk – We Are Responsible
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 to me back then. I am suggesting that we would be “happily together ever after.” 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.
A former supervisor and I were once having a conversation about individuals taking responsibility for their health. We talked about becoming our self-advocates.
“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 Your Sex Life
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. I have it for decades now. And, it does, straight up, impact your sex life.
“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 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, PhD, RD, of the American Diabetes Association.
Challenges Compounded By Ageing
Along with the natural “side effects of ageing,” if you have diabetes or know a woman has, 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.”
There are other health issues that affect your sex life but let us stop here for today – these two are enough to get us all thinking, acting and speaking up. Check out our social media profiles to continue the conversation. We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.