Being in an intimate relationship is extremely important to me, and I am currently in a long-term relationship. I do feel differently about intimacy than before I was diagnosed. I am experiencing physical barriers to a satisfying intimate relationship. I am in extreme pain and am unable to wear make-up, have my hair done, and I worry about my personal hygiene because I have no sense of smell. I am not experiencing any emotional barriers to a satisfying intimate relationship. I have undertaken treatments that have impacted positively or negatively on my relationship, for example medications or procedures such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). I had DBS 5 years ago, and it doesn’t work as well as it used to.
The factors impacting on my ability to have an intimate relationship are a lack of emotional support, reluctance to ask for help, lack of sleep, stress, a feeling of being overwhelmed, the impact of changes in independence, the impact of changes in partner roles, tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with coordinating movement. I have experienced a lack of sexual desire, changes in sexual function, vaginal dryness and difficulty in reaching an orgasm. Strategies that are useful or may be useful include taking a more passive role during sex. I feel that for some people 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 have gone through menopause, my partner is very tolerant but he is a man and needs sex, I love him dearly but can see he is becoming very annoyed recently. For me as a woman, I agree with focusing more on casual intimacy like kissing and touching, and I talked to my partner about my concerns to no avail.