**Disclaimer: ADULT CONTENT** Today’s post is on a subject that people with CHD don’t always discuss, but it is a very important topic nonetheless: sex. Below is one woman’s account of what it’s like to be with her husband and have CHD. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic our blogger has asked to remain anonymous. *Patients should discuss the risks of sexual activity with their doctor.*
Shedding a light into a CHD patients sex life is something people just don’t talk about. And I get it. Sex is the most personal and intimate form of physical connection someone can have with another human being. The topic also gets the back seat because as a CHD patient, we deal with life and death situations. Sex becomes an afterthought.
When it comes to sex, there are two questions I always ponder with: one, am I beautiful enough to have sex and two, will I be able to physically endure sex.
As a woman, we are constantly told by the media of what a perfect body looks like. You will be hard pressed to find anyone representing scars in a Victoria Secret advertisement, new bathing suit line or in a movie. With these constant images of what a perfect body should be, it makes it that much harder to be physically vulnerable with someone. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with my body and that only truly happened when I married my husband. My husband validates that my body is beautiful. I have never felt insecure in our sex life because of him. He makes me feel confident in every aspect.
My CHD health has been changing and with that, my sex life has changed as well…not drastically but it has changed. I am not always able to physically endure sex. There will be times I have to pause or stop to catch my breath. It is frustrating to say the least, especially when you are finding your groove. I am so thankful that my husband never pressures me to keep going. He listens and trusts me when I need a break. Once a skipped beat has passed or I am no longer short of breath, we pick up where we left off.
I truly believe that my husband and I have a beautiful sex life because he allows me to be vulnerable without judgement. He validates my beauty and trusts me when I need a break. Sex doesn’t have to be a scary thing or off the table for patients with CHD. It is all about finding the right person to share that life with. Someone who understands, embraces your scars and follows your lead.