Being in an intimate relationship is very important to me, and I am currently in an intimate relationship. I do feel differently about intimacy than before I was diagnosed. Spontaneity with movement is restricted. I am experiencing physical barriers to a satisfying intimate relationship, like easy movement. I am experiencing emotional barriers to a satisfying intimate relationship including fear of hurting or causing pain. I have undertaken treatments that have impacted positively or negatively on my relationship. Medication has given movement back after 3 years of figuring it out. It has helped. The factors impacting on my ability to have an intimate relationship include fatigue, impact of changes in independence, impact of changes in partner roles, rigidity and negative body image. I have experienced vaginal dryness, and balance issues during sex.

The strategies I have found useful or may find useful are scheduling sexual activity for when medication is working, increasing exercise to improve mobility and stamina, sex toys and pelvic floor exercises. I feel it would be useful for the App to provide free access to a Relationship Therapist for online advice specifically in relation to young onset Parkinson’s. I would like a Relationship Therapist to know about young onset Parkinson’s, and that your mind tells you you can do and want to do all the things you used to do but you need someone to give you other options that give some positivity. Things to discuss with children should include will it happen to them, how hard it is some days not to be able to be there for them, is this the way it will always be. Additional things to consider – getting to know your triggers that may set you up for a bad day, getting friends to understand and want to be a part of it when you are in pain, family being able to vent their frustrations.