In an attempt to help CF patients and caregivers to find ways, alone or as a couple, to overcome the physical and emotional difficulties surrounding sexuality and sexual relations, GeneFo organized a free webinar lecture, led by sex therapist Tuppy Owens, for Wednesday, July 26.
Patients with CF or other chronic illnesses face a number difficulties in their daily lives. For many, achieving a healthy sex life can be challenging, and can impact their psychological wellbeing.
CF has been associated with an altered body image, delayed puberty, and concerns of early death. In addition, an inadequate knowledge about the reproductive potential of people with CF can also lead to anxiety and frustration.
Partners of young adults with CF can also experience mixed feelings about sex and intimacy. They may feel guilty for wanting to engage in sex, or for not feeling the same attraction to their partner as they once felt.
In addition, medical devices like gastrostomy tube/button or porta-cath (permanent intravenous access device) can affect a person’s self-image, as do health-related problems like urinary incontinence, infections, and frequent flatus (gas) caused by indigestion.
Clinicians and healthcare teams are, in most cases, focused on providing ways to improve disease symptoms and a patient’s general quality of life. The importance of mental and emotional health, however, is often forgotten or minimized — although these relate, on many levels, to the social, intimate, and sexual aspects of a patient’s life.
According to the results of the CF community survey, many patients responded strongly to a question such as: “With all that I have to face; managing my condition, coping with debilitating symptoms, uncertainty, and changes in my life, how can I still have an enjoyable sex life and validate my desires?”
The GeneFo-sponsored online lecture will focus on sexuality in the context of chronic illnesses. Dr. Owens will address self-acceptance, incapacitating physical dysfunction, and other symptoms that may affect negatively a person’s sexual life. She will also discuss how patients and caregivers can improve these aspects of their lives, and how intimacy can be created beyond sex.
“We are very proud to be offering this important session for the CF community, to provide a useful and valuable resource and point of encouragement. Dr. Tuppy has been at the forefront of campaigning for and supporting people with chronic conditions/disabilities and has helped many patients find healthier and happier lives while rediscovering intimacy and sexuality. Her years of experience, openness, and profound sensitivity will resonate with those seeking answers and will address their unmet needs,” Neer Ziskind, CEO of GeneFo, said in a release provided to Cystic Fibrosis News Today.
Registration for the webinar is free and can be done at https://www.genefo.com/signup_regular?webinar=25.
For further information, please contact Adi Bein ([email protected]), vice president of marketing and strategy at GeneFo.