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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Sciatica affecting sex life?


 xheartside - Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:01 pm

I am here posting for a close friend who has confided this information to me. She is too afraid to say anything to her doctor (yet, though I am insisting she should) and I am hoping to gain a little more insight for her and myself through this forum.

This friend of mine, we'll name her Katy, has been experiencing severe pains that sometimes leave her breathless and immobile. These pains occur in both of her legs, though primarily the left one, and it shoots up her leg to her buttock and sometimes she can hardly move afterwards. She has been experiencing bowel incontinence several times a month and she is forty-seven years old. She is a white female, 150 lbs, diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue disease, lupus and has had thyroid issues that have caused weight gain. She has had lupus for twelve years. She has had one child, and a hysterectomy.

Recently, Katy was participating in sexual activities with a man she is seeing when a bout of bowel incontinence arose. The sex was painful, and she is not sure whether or not it is because he was very large, or whether it had to do with something else. The bowel movement was of the consistancy of diarhhea, and she has been petrified since to be involved sexually with anyone for fear of it happening again.

She said somewhere, she'd read that sciatica can cause bowel movements during sexual activity - is this true, and if so, is there a treatment for this?

Is acupuncture recommended for this kind of situation?

She is still very young at heart and now she is so afraid of not being enough in the private parts of her life.

Please give your insight - could surgery possibly fix this problem, and what kind of specialist would she have to go to?

Thank you.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:47 pm

User avatar Hello,
Thank you for your concern about your friend. It is true that bowel function can be related to sciatica since it is actually nerve compression in the spine and bowel and bladder are innervated from the spine, just as the nerves in the legs are. So, the compression can cause malfunction in these organs. It is imperative that she seek medical attention. There are various treatment options. She can see a chiropractor or a neurologist or orthopedist. Her choice may depend on what style of medical treatment she is most comfortable with. It is possible she may get relief from conservative treatments such as adjustments or physical therapists. Some are experienced in treating sciatic nerve problems. In some cases patients benefit from surgery.

I do hope Katy will seek the help she needs and deserves. Besides her overall health and well-being, she needs to feel good about herself and not be afraid of intimacy.

Best wishes to you both.

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