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Young with DDD and sex problems

csdrt20ccsdrt20 Posts: 3
edited 06/20/2015 - 5:41 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hey I just wanted to ask if anyone else has experienced difficulty with sex since having DDD (I am particularly interested in what the men have to say but women if you have something to share I'm all ears). Were you able to get over it and how? Did you have to make adjustments, and what were they?

I am a 27 year old male (almost 28) who had an acute episode of herniated discs (L4-L5 and L5-S1) when I was 25, at which time I was unable to walk for a period of time, or sit etc etc. But gradually with physio and progressive degeneration of the disc the pain became managed and after almost 3 years after my initial injury I have been able to resume most of my old activities (I am very sporty by nature), albeit with reduced intensity and the need for supportive pain management with medication and frequent rest.

However, I find that I have had very little confidence in my sex life. Today I have sciatica in both legs, and when I lay down I have muscle spasms in both legs. I can only stand in one place for about 10-20 minutes until I need to sit down, and sitting in one spot for beyond an hour can be a problem. The nerve in my left leg was damaged by the herniation and I have lost feeling in part of my left foot. Now when I am standing or in certain positions I feel like even if I am not experiencing acute pain my muscles can tighten up as sort of a protective reflex, or it is difficult for me to feel like I can just act naturally. At the time that I first had my injury I was actually in a long term relationship, and my partner was good and patient with me and we were able to have decent sex. With my current partner though I am finding it really difficult (maybe this is partly a communication issue) but I feel like my physical problems are starting to become psychological problems ...ex lack of confidence and the old is it me or is it her (she does not like oral sex, which to me can be a big part of foreplay and I am not comfortable with condoms... maybe just not experienced with them because I was in 2 long term relationships before, the first of which was with a virgin, and the second of which we got tested first).

As a man, the biggest turn off is feeling stressed to perform and I am starting to feel that. It is very discouraging, as I said, and I am only 27! Has anyone else experienced this? How did you deal with it and did it take you awhile to get over it? I've read some different websites that say just experiment with different positions, take meds before you start etc, but those are all very "official" sort of doctor advice sites that don't give you any insight into what it was actually like for someone living with the problems. Any insights you can share would really be appreciated. I am hopeful that I can get past this but it has been very stressful for me, especially early in relationship. Not a conversation that I want to have, that I might not be good at sex because of my chronic back pain. Part of the problem is I don't know what my limitations are, since it's been almost 3 years since I last had sex with my other partner, and I'm worried that my current partner won't be patient enough to wait and find out (we broke up twice already but she is back for the 3rd time).


  • Sorry to hear you're having sexual issues, especially at such a young age. I can't offer much in the way of advice, but I can say sex isn't a race to the finish line, and you should have a partner that's willing to come along for the journey to see what works and what doesn't.

    You didn't mention anything about your medications being a stumbling block, but the medicines prescribed for nerve pain (like Lyrica) can make things a lot more difficult. Suddenly sex can feel like a marathon, but this can have its own advantages. Don't hurt yourself, and communicate. Maybe your sad. Maybe your leg is burning. In the end, you'll probably need to connect in a different way emotionally than what your partner is expecting.

    On a final note, you didn't mention toys. I would recommend checking some out if you haven't, as this might help alleviate some performance anxiety. Exploring the options will be great fun, too.
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