Psoriasis and Your Sexuality


Even if you’re in a happy relationship, psoriasis can affect a couple’s sex life. For most of us, sex drive steadily comes and goes, but when psoriasis flares up it can dampen your desire by ruining your self-confidence.  Here’s are some tips from Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana to help you overcome the roadblocks that psoriasis throws up.


Roadblock: Feeling Unattractive

Sometimes you’re in an intimate situation, and if you suffer from psoriasis, you might be feeling like you look horrible.  When that happens, even if your partner understands your condition, being intimate can be difficult


Steps To Overcome It

1. Talk about it up front.  Your Columbus gynecologist recommends discussing the situation with your partner before you get intimate. Most people are afraid that the disease will take someone by surprise, but by putting it out there, you’re taking control.

2. Focus on the pleasure. Anytime there are distractions or competing thoughts, it’s going to take away from your enjoyment of sex. Relaxation techniques—or just taking a deep breath when these thoughts arise—can be a reminder to stay focused.

3. Don’t force it.  You need to recognize the difference between anxiety holding you back and just not being in the mood. If you feel sexual and the conditions are right, go for it, but if you don’t feel like having sex, just don’t do it.



Roadblock: Pain

Sometimes you’re worried about having sex, because you’re in pain.  Psoriasis can appear in intimate areas of your body, making sex uncomfortable.

Get past it with communication and ground rules.  If sex is painful, there needs to be some understanding and communication.  Opening the dialogue gives partners the opportunity to problem-solve the situation.  Your Columbus gynecologist recommends laying ground rules about what your partner should or should not do before becoming intimate.

When to get help.  If you’ve experienced pain or rejection while being intimate, you may decide to avoid the situation altogether, creating a vicious cycle. The more you abstain from intimacy, the more difficult it can be to get back into it. If you find yourself avoiding sex for an extended period of time or feel unable to talk with your partner about it, consider seeking help from your Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana.   Talking to someone who understands your situation can help to validate your feelings.

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