Dear Dr NerdLove
My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for about 3.5 years and we’ve been through a lot together and I like to think it’s a pretty solid relationship overall.
However in the last year our sex life has suffered, namely because I haven’t wanted it or enjoyed it. Sorry to be TMI, but I often struggle to get physically aroused, can have limited sensation ‘down there’ or when I can feel things it’s often, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, painful.
I have always tried to be open and honest with him about these issues and, at first, it caused arguments as my boyfriend thought I might no longer be attracted to him and/or wanted to be with someone else (feelings based on bad experiences in his previous relationships). But that’s very much not the case and I’d always try to talk it out with him and reassure him as best I could.
Towards the start of 2019, I went back on antidepressants for a depressive episode. And at first I thought this was what was causing my problems. And so when it got to May this year and I was having physical health issues (which me and the doctor thought were side effects of the antidepressants) and I had to come off them, I was hopeful that at least my sex problems would be resolved.
They were not. Plot twist – it wasn’t the anti depressants. With the same physical issues on going (and seemingly connected to the sex problems) I was referred to an endocrinologist and found out I have a suspected tumour. IN MY BRAIN.
Ok. Ok. So it’s not exactly in my brain but just under it. On my pituitary gland. And it’s most likely benign. But as I’m sure you can understand, it’s scary for me nevertheless.
I’m currently waiting on an MRI scan (I’m in the UK so going through the NHS) to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment, but with the pandemic and lockdown I don’t know when that will be.
My boyfriend is always very supportive of me through the hospital appointments and always looks after me when I’m not feeling great. I know he’s worried for my health and just wants me to get better. I don’t want you to think he’s completely selfish and his only concern is the fact he’s not getting any!!
I just don’t know how to handle our sex life (or lack of) in the meantime. Sometimes I will try sex with him in the hopes it will feel at least okay, but it sucks. We try to keep an open and honest conversation about the subject but we both get frustrated that there’s nothing we can really do while we wait for the doctors to sort out the tumour.
I do worry this could be the thing that ruins an otherwise amazing relationship.
What should I do?
Can’t Get Wet