Arthritis can present challenges which can cause stress and have a negative impact on yours or your partner’s sex drive. Although your relationship may change because of arthritis, many couples find that they become closer by discussing things openly. Talk about your arthritis and its affects, the changing situation and any challenges that you face so you can arrive at a solution that’s right for both of you.
If you're not in a relationship, keep up your social contacts as much as possible and think of new activities to try so you don't lose your self-confidence. Don't forget most relationships develop gradually and depend on shared interests more than physical considerations.
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Sex won't make arthritis worse, although it may cause discomfort if your joints are painful. You can try different positions if this is the case.
Reactive arthritis is trigged by sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) so it's important to use protection if you've had this type of arthritis before.
Most drugs commonly used to treat arthritis are unlikely to affect your sex life or contraception, but you should discuss your medications with your doctor if you think they may be affecting you in this way.
If fatigue is affecting sexual desire or enjoyment of other shared activities:
If loss of self-confidence is affecting your sex life:
Research suggests that the vast majority of hip and knee replacement patients enjoy improved sexual function after surgery.
Find out how you can support Arthritis Research UK.