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Heart To Heart

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sex after Hernia Surgery
After my Hernia operation four months ago, I have lost my interest in sex. My age is 33. Does physical illness affect sex life of a person?

When a person is physically ill, he usually lose interest in sex and some ability to perform intercourse. Over and above the damage to our bodies due to illness, we feel apprehensive, anxious and even depressed about the lack of control over our bodies. Besides we also suffer the loss of the benefits of sexual intimacy. This can induce a ‘sense of isolation’ in the ill person.

Even after recovery from the illness, many men are often unwilling to resume their sexual life. "It's too strenuous, too risky," they think. "I might hurt myself”. The wife is mostly aware of her husband’s apprehensions and feelings and shares his concerns, which may lead to a decision to refrain from sex or then to have less sex. Majority number of the times the fear is baseless, leading to performance anxiety and thus psychogenic impotence.

The benefits of a healthy sexual relationship can even accelerate and complement recovery from many physical illnesses. The body is revitalized by sexual activity. Endorphins and Oxytocin that are secreted in the body in larger proportion due to sexual intimacy contribute positively to overall well-being.

After recovery from a surgery or a physical illness, when the treating doctor grants the go-ahead, the couple must consider recommencing their sex life as earlier.

First major challenge together
I am 25. I proposed to a girl (age 23) who is also interested in marrying me. In fact loves me too! She fears her dad may not allow her to marry me as he is "unpredictable". She herself was not able to understand him! So what can we do to go ahead and marry?

We presume that both of you have completed your academic education, well established in your respective careers and are able to financially support yourselves. Marriage is a serious commitment and both the partners must be ‘willing and able’ to shoulder all the responsibilities that come along with it. Therefore, if both of you are ‘willing and able’ to take on the responsibility of marriage, then no one should or can come in the way. Of course, it is always better to have the blessings of the family. In this context you could arrange a meeting with her father to seek his blessings after she breaks the news to him. If he gives his consent happily it is good, if not, then both of you must emotionally prepare yourself to face your first major challenge together. Life is full of ups and downs and both of you need to be emotionally equipped to meet all that life doles out to you. Whether both of you can weather storms together successfully will determine the success of your marriage.

Circumcision in Women
I am a 23-year-old Muslim girl. I was circumcised in my childhood and do not have a clitoris. Can I enjoy sex after my marriage?

If only the hood of the clitoris (prepuce) is removed during circumcision, and the clitoris itself is uncut, you should not have any problem in enjoying sexual pleasure from clitoral stimulation. However, if the clitoris itself is excised, then you may not be able to derive pleasure that is experienced at the clitoris. However, it is not the end of sexual pleasance.

It is true that the clitoris provides sexual pleasure; however it is not the ONLY place in the female genitalia that gives sexual pleasure. The Labia Minora (Inner lips), some portion of the Labia Majora (Outer lips), outer 1/3rd of the Vaginal canal are also sensitive to sexual stimulation and the sexual pleasure can be experienced through these areas during normal sexual activity.   

How to restore the relation
I am in first year college and have been madly in love with a girl my age since I was in class 8. It appeared that she loved me to. I had her phone number and rang her up in spite of her asking me not to do so. I think her parents found out about it. She refuses to talk to me and says she is not interested in me. I have pleaded with her but to no avail. Please tell me how to restore the relation. I can't live without her.

First of all both of you are way too young. You have very correctly written ‘it appeared that she loved me’. So you are willing to re-evaluate your interpretation of her ‘way of talking’. That is good. You have also acknowledged that you went against her ‘specific wishes’ to not call her. We are sure you can understand if she is upset and angry with you. Not respecting her wishes amounts to not respecting her i.e. what you want is more important to you than what she needs. It is possible that she has been placed in an uncomfortable situation at home due to your actions as both of you are so young. If she is part of an orthodox family then the situation could be worse. We think a sincere apology is in order. Remember ~ Love is caring about the other more than yourself.

Sexual Pleasure and Episiotomy
What is Episiotomy? I am pregnant and my gynecologist told me that she will perform episiotomy on me. Will this procedure have any effect on my sex life after delivery? How long after episiotomy, I will be allowed to have sexual intercourse?

An episiotomy is a surgical cut (incision) made just before delivery in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus (the area called the perineum) to enlarge the vaginal opening to assist childbirth. The incision can be midline or at an angle from the posterior end of the vulva. It is performed under local anesthesia and is sutured closed immediately after delivery. It is one of the most common surgical procedures performed during childbirth.

An episiotomy can sometimes result in a scar that is tender and therefore can make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful. However it does not happen in all episiotomies. It is not possible to predict which episiotomies will result in a painful scar. If there is a painful scar, it can often be successfully treated with another minor surgery.

It takes about six to eight weeks after episiotomy for a woman to heal completely. Sexual intercourse is permitted only after this period; that too after examining the status of the scar. Some gynecologists believe that episiotomy helps to maintain vaginal tightness after delivery for the enhanced pleasure during intercourse for both the partners.

Heart To Heart Counselling Centre runs Certificate courses in Counselling & Sex Education at 10 Jerbai Baug, Byculla (E), Mumbai-27.
Tel: 23755866 / 9821093902.

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Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
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Dr. (Mrs.) Minnu R. Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychotherapist & Counsellor
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