sex, relationships and crohns

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 221
   Posted 2/10/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I havent had crohhs long just over a year.  Before I had crohns I wanted long term relationships but now I do nothing but drive them away.  I am so afraid that if I start a relationship with someone I will end up sending them running in the other direction.  It's not just the fact that this diseas is gross but I have had a number of surgeries and my ass looks like swiss cheese. Not something for sexy undies thats for sure.  I just ruined any chances I had at a relationship with a great guy because I was too scared that he wouldn't like me when he got to know the me that I don't show the whole world. 
Ever since I have been diagnosed I seem to be drawing myself to guys who are totally wrong.  Its like I would rather be dissed by a one night stand complete loser than a guy that I care about.  I am afraid that if a guy I did care about left because of the crohns it would ruin the little self esteem I have left.  I was wondering if anyone else has ever felt the same way or do I just have more issues than I need?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 2/10/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
i feel your pain, i once had a guy point out a few things (one being my scar) during an intimate moment. ive gotten past the wrong guy phase and am now in the no guy phase because im just so insecure about it. i do believe that there are men who are sensitive and compassionate, but they just aren't in their early 20s. i think that the best thing for women with crohn's to do is to date before anything physical happens, less likely that he'll be a jerk about things. honestly, the one night stand thing is for women with perfect bodies and who drink like floozies....we aren't those women.
22 Female, currently on MTX. Previously on Imuran, Remicade, Pentasa, etc. Ileocolic resection in 2006.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 2/10/2009 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello ladies,  can't speak for all men but if a guy can't look past a simple scar you don't want to be with them anyway. I know its tough being young coping with a difficult disease but you need to live your life not worrying about what other people think. I'm speaking from experience having problems at a young age with crohns. I was very fortunate to find a great wife who understood my circumstance and I'm sure you both will. Keep your heads up



Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 2/10/2009 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
There are good guys out there!! I was 19 when I met my hubby (now in my 30's) and it's been a big struggle with my disease all the way around. I guess on some level I knew he would be the one b/c on our first date I had to lay down in the booth due to pain--he didn't bat an eye! Yes, it was hard for him at times but he never made me feel weird or embarrassed. I, too, have had multiple surgeries and less than 6 months of being with him I had drains put in--talk about insecurities!! But again, he was totally cool with it. Even if you were 'normal' you would more than likely encounter some toads but there really are great guys out there. Also, if you get brave enough to share yourself with someone and they reject you b/c of your disease, then just know he wasn't worth your time, respect, love, etc.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 2/10/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
When I first started dating my husband I was very embarrassed about the symptoms of Crohns... the gas, the diarreah, accidents... it was very difficult for me to discuss the disease other than just mentioning I have it. He was super, he knew I was having a hard time with it so he was very sensitive. He didn't ask too many questions, he must have known some how that I would talk more about the disease as we got closer. Sure enough, the more comfortable I was with him the more I have been able to discuss the disease. Now, I can let out the stinky gas right in front of him, I can come out of the washroom groaning and complaining about the weird, painful bm I have just had... I can talk about my suppositories, enemas etc and he is totally OK with it! Sex can be very painful for women with this disease (not sure if it is painful for men with Crohns...) and a good guy will understand that too.

In a way this disease can be helpful because it can screen out the losers. Great guys are out there and will not judge you for this disease. Wait for one of them! The other thing is that you have to get comfortable with yourself and your disease before you can get comfortable with someone else. It could be that the first step for you is dealing with your own embarrassment and insecurities about the disease, then you will have a more solid foundation when you are dating new people. Hope that helps, and I totally feel for you! Crohns can add another complication to the already complicated world of dating!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 2/10/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Please don't let this disease or it's scars take your self esteem. I'm a single male and got a colostomy when I was 29. I always had a great attitude about it but I was terrified when dating turned to sex. How would I tell a beautiful girl that I had an ostomy? I was never disappointed in their reaction. In fact I was amazed! Maybe women are different than men when it comes to that kind of thing but I've met many angels in spite of my ostomy. I agree 100% with Laslow, Any man that is offended by a scar on your belly is not seeking love, just sex and surely you want more than that from a relationship. This disease can humble us and I truly believe that being humble is one of God's greatest gifts. Take your gift and let it lift you above the crowds of shallow people. You'll meet angels if you do! The kindest and wisest people I have ever met are the ones who have had to face the biggest obstacles and now you are included in that club. I wish you the best!
Crohns 30 years. Ileostomy for 15 years. Symptom free for 14 years until 6 months ago. Now on Remicade and iron. Feeling like a champ!
God Bless. Tony

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2088
   Posted 2/10/2009 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Let me give you another guy's perspective, ladies.
eyes Well, I don't date because without money I can't (I don't work) and with chronic fatigue meeting new people is well-nigh impossible; not to mention being on such an exclusive diet means no meals out, so no trips to even a coffee shop unless I am bringing my own biscuits !
But I am still (theoretically) looking for the right woman, and I can tell you, this disease is a great bulls**t filter ! Instead of finding out that someone is unreliable further down the line when things get harder ( eyes oops, sorry about the pun, I didn't mean it that way ! turn ) you find out pretty fast who will not cope. That's a great way to avoid getting hurt ! At that point, when things are still tentative, you can still emotionally disengage (I know, I'm a man, but you can do it too nono) and just think, "Well, that's someone else who has that problem, he's toxic."
That's one positive aspect to it.
But for myself, I find that looking for women is like...dare I say it idea fishing. (Please, no jokes about worms ! shocked)
There are things that are lures, and there are things that are hooks. Lures are things that attract - that's where the word "alluring" comes from - and of course that means physical appearance. In my case, it is usually the facial expression that gets my attention first - okay, a great figure is nice, but a toxic personality with it and I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole - with (listen carefully! nono ) a caring personality or good sense of humour a close tie. Hair colour, build, facial features, medical issues...really not an issue. It may be a problem for her - but I am strong enough to cope with other people's problems, it is mine I can't cope with !
Once I get to know a girl a bit better - and I take things slow, I am serious about relationships - the hook, the thing that will always make me want to stay, is personality. And part of that is vulnerability; being someone who triggers the need to protect and cherish in me.
Not every guy is like me, of course. Good thing too. Depression kept screwing up my relationships, and now I'm older and wiser, I'm pretty much out of the beating-them-off-with-sticks zone I was in. But the point is, there are guys out there, who need to feel needed, and who want to be your support in time of need, and can be that understanding. IMHO, look for people who know about suffering, and you will probably find the man you need to make love to you. wink

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 2/10/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Before I was diagnosed the only thing I wanted in life was to be with someone, and be completely in love.  Since being diagnosed it is the last thing on my mind, of course I want to be with someone, but I dont believe I have the right mental state of mind to be in a relationship, which is why I ended my last.  Not to mention my sex drive at the age of 22 is zero.  Try explaining that to your boyfriend at an age where sex is a huge part of a relationship, and when the other person wants it all the time.  Dreamer, I completely understand what your saying,  Ive stopped relationships before they even began because I was too embarrassed to have them see my scars, or explain to them why I was in the bathroom for 20 mins during a nice dinner they took me to.  Im not sure how old you are, but at my age it is extremely hard to find a guy that is ready and willing to take on me and all that comes along with me.  It sucks, but if you really think about it, the guy that you want and that will eventually come around, you wont and shouldnt have to think twice about telling him your story, and showing him what youve been through, and in return they shouldnt think twice about if they should be with you or not.  Its hard, I know it is, Im going through the same thing, just hang on there, everything will work itself out in the end. :)

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Humira (bi-weekly)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Hey Mag,

I agree with everything the others have said. I too like everyone here have had those issues especially when I found myself separated from my husband of 22 years 5 years ago, I am still young enough to be starting in a relationship as I am 46 and my crohns has been so out of control its not funny, but I have been dating a great guy now for 2 years and he now lives with me and believe me he has seen some bad times with me, on a daily basis I lose control of my bowel, I have had surgery before and have scars and now looking down the barrel of getting an ileostomy and he is not phased by it at all, he couldnt be more supportive I truely am lucky as I know u will be too. There are good guys out there regardless of age. Yellowfin put it all perfectly I agree wholeheartedly. Take care and keep your head held high


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry my reply was for dreamer! gees brain strain lol

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 2/11/2009 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I have found that I really don't want anyone too close to me. I was seeing someone before I was diagnosed who begged me to go to a GI doc and I kept telling him it was just my nervous stomach. It was different with him though because I had known him off and on since I was in elementary school and knew he would care about me no matter what.

35/f   proud single mom of 2

Diagnosed with GERD/Acid Reflex 2002

Diagnosed with IBS 2007

Diagnosed with UC, then Crohn’s 2008

Current medications: Endcort 3mg 2X daily, Pentasa 2 500mg caps 2X daily, Prilosec 20 mg 2X daily (if needed), Probiotics, Calcuim/Mag/Vit.D. Flinstones multi with Iron and Vit. C 500mg daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 2/11/2009 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   

Don't give up. I was married when I found out and I was still worried about how my hubby would feel. He told me he is not going anywhere no matter what. He is understanding and I am glad to have him.

I agree that if the person can not handle your disease then you know up front this is not the person for you. I know it must be tough but don't give up on dating. you can find someone in other places like book clubs, classes etc... the right person is out there for you...



Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 Started Humira June 2008 (have been on other cd meds)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 on Soma and Lyrica



Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 2/11/2009 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
this sex and relationship is worth to talk about.For me I would say without my spouse I cannot imagine how bad my disease would impact me. She always there for me before me. she feels my pain as much as i do, and never made me feel embarrassed. She is very supportive and understanding. I cannot ask for more, she is wonderful, amazing, lovely wife. I'm so lucky to have her.

What I'm trying to say, there are many good guys and girls out there who will love,give, care, respect, and support regardless of your condition.

good still in people

good luck and don't keep your heads up. it is not your fault that you are diagnosed with CD
Age: 28
Diagnosed with CD JAN, 08.
Meds: Prednisone(40mg), Pentasa (4mg), Hydrocodone, prilosec, Fish oil, Multivitamins untill(01/27)
Surgeries: Right now I'm at the Hospital (Hotel) waiting for my Abscesses to be drained then I will have a Laparoscopic Resection Surgery. I’m very excited.
New med's at the hospital: Flagyl (1500mg/Day), levaquin(500mg/Day),Hydrocortisone(300mg/Day) ,Lovenox(40mg/Day) for clotting, regular insulin, dilaudid as needed (1 mg/4 Hr's)
TPN with lipids at night.
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 2/11/2009 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
What beautiful thoughts. This truly is a great bunch of people!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 2/11/2009 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I found out after about 3 years of marriage to my husband. He has been truely wonderful and supportive although does have trouble understanding sometimes. I think finally after he had a bout of stomach flu with d and cramps and nausea I told him think about that 24-7 and you have my life. He gets it a little more. I do have problems with my sex drive, could almost go without if I had my choice and he wants it alot but understands when I don't. I just love the fact that I have a scarred body and have a smelly/noisy butt and he still has it for me! Always telling me I'm beautiful and just a simple look and boing! THere are great men out there and believe me, I found my fair share before Mr Right and before disease. You just have to be patient and don't try so hard. The moment you let your guard down and not think about it, he WILL come. And he will sweep you off your feet before you even have the chance to realize he did it. Keep your chin up, he is out there.

Dx CD 2003 but probably had it 10 years prior

Dx Primary Sclerossing Cholangitis 2006

GB out '95, Appendix out '96, Kidney stent '02/stone removal '02, Resection '04, fistulectomy '06 2x, tubal '05

Currently on 100mg 6mp-50 mg,  and Remicade every 8 weeks, Ambien, predsnisone, humira 1x wk, flagyl, cypro, diflucan, probiotic

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 2/11/2009 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   



I'm 19 and have similar issues - to the point where I don't even wish to tell anyone that I have Crohn's - especially friends you go clubbing with and potential boys. It's not that I think they would be mean about it - just that the pity thing would affect how they see me. And it's just something I hate admitting to.


So far - I have been avoiding relationships. Although I have always wanted one, I've only just realised that it has been me avoiding it all along. Negative reinforcement i suppose. But the more you avoid these things the harder it gets. I suppose what I am trying to say is that sometimes it is us that have the problem - not other people. And if we could be honest about it - a lot a people probably wouldn't be that bothered! I'm only just realising this though. And still I find myself avoiding relationships becuase I have got so used to not having them. But lifes too short - and I know I will regret it in the future.


It's not about meeting mr right - just about having fun.


Hope this helps.





Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 2/11/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been married 22 years with lots of ups and downs. And when this came a little over a year ago, I thought our life was over. But my husband surprised me and held both of us and my kids together. He did alot better than I expected and now I feel like we love each other more than ever.

Dreamer and everyone else who doubts finding the right one---don't give up---I feel there is someone for everyone!!!
age 41,diagnosed with CD in 11/07, Rx Pentasa 4000mg and Remicade.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/13/2009 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
My wife was diagnosed with Crohn's in November 08. She had just turned 23. Even though we were already married for four year, our marriage has not suffered a bit. I think that I am actually more sensitive toward her needs than I ever have. Just stay strong and know that you will meet a guy that will be sensitive and want to help you out. Ladies don't feel bad and give up on men. There are some very nice men out there that will be right for you. God Bless!

Texan with Crohn's
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 2/13/2009 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Humm... sex? Don't even remember what that is. I haven't had but one relationship (a very short one once he found out I had CD) since being diagnosed with CD. I wonder if I'll remember how to do "it". :(

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 2/13/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I am with Mojo here. Don't give up on love just because you have Crohns. I have the most amazing husband in the world too. There are good men/women out there who are compassionate and loving. My husband has been thru the worst years of my Crohns. He has been there packing my incision when it had to be reopened due to an infection. He got up in the middle of night to help me to the bathroom when I had my knee surgery. And no sex isn't that often, but he still loves me unconditionally and does understand that I am sick. As the others have said, you just have to keep looking until the right one comes along, and I am sure one will for you too.

Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 2/13/2009 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
My first flare was the weekend I met the guy I'm with now. We met online and I had to travel about 5 hours to meet him in person, and I guess that the stress must've been a trigger for me or something, because I was stuck in the hotel with diarrhea and vomiting the entire weekend. He took care of me, and went out to pick up snacks and stuff for me since I wasn't able to do much. We're still together about a year later, and he has listened to and dealt with this all since the very beginning with me. I'm 20 years old by the way. It goes to show that people can be very accepting - when you find someone who is a good match for you, they will accept you for who you are and want to help you in any way possible. They won't judge you because of scars or because you have to run to the bathroom a lot, or may not always be feeling well.

Remember this - no one is perfect. Everyone has their insecurities and their flaws. Everyone gets sick. If a guy you care about leaves because of Crohn's, he wasn't worth caring about in the first place.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 221
   Posted 2/13/2009 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I know any guy I feel comfortable with to tell him that I have crohns wouldn't leave because of it. I guess it is guess it is just my insecurity with crohns itself. I dont want to let it control my life and in most aspects I have been doing well to not let it take over, its just when it comes to guys where it does. But to be completely honest even before I had crohns guys was the one area in my life where I was self contious.

I really apprectiate all the comments. I know that one day I will find the guy for me and hearing all of your stories makes me more confident that he is out there and wont judge me for something I have no control over.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/13/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Having crohn's isn't tantamount to being a human who doesn't need someone. There are plenty of great people out there that will love you for who you are :) For me, it was worrying that my boyfriend(now fiance) would leave me after finding out what my diagnosis was and experiencing all the months where I couldn't do anything but sleep, go to the bathroom, and drink water or broth. He stuck through all of that though and much worse afterward. I could never let him go...
Don't sabotage your relationships if you're afraid. At least see where it will go. So many times I was ready to break it off with him because I wanted to save him, but that's the last thing that he wanted and it took him convincing ME that our relationship is something to fight for in spite of what I believed to be my shortcomings or defects.
As for the sex, yes it's much less than when we first started going out, but we make time for it when I'm well and cherish every other moment. At some point we realized that it's not all about the physical relationship with someone you love. You stay with someone for what is in their heart and soul, not for their transient physical appearance. I've found life with him so much richer after that realization.
I know it's really difficult to open up to people, but I know you can find someone...I have heard a lot of great true life love stories from people who have joined crohn's support groups and met someone with a similar lifestyle :) I imagine there would be a lot less embarrassment in sex and life in general when you're with someone going through the exact same thing, and the possibility of the relationship growing into something serious and beautiful is that much greater with someone who already understands.
That being said though, there are plenty of people that would accept crohnies like us i.e. my fiance, without having had that disease. It's a matter of empathy and using that the right way..
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 5 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and good probiotics.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Attempting a diet without refined sugars, high fat content, bleached or bromated flour, most dairy, red meat, and avoiding anything spicy like the plague. Also refuse to eat anything with trans fat or high fructose/corn syrup.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 2/13/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
For the women out there, do you find sex painful when you aren't feeling great? I find that it can be very painful, I have assumed it just goes with the territory. I haven't mentioned it to my Doc. because I am not comfortable talking about that with him. Just wondering because if it isn't the Crohn's it could be something else. Also, when it comes to sex I am so anxious about passing gas during sex that I don't really get into it. Like I said in my previous post, my husband is wonderful and I can pass gas in front of him no problem... but I wouldn't want to do that during sex...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/13/2009 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
It does hurt..I am a tiny person anyway and my fiance is um, not, in that area so it used to hurt at first before anyway. Now it's a lot worse and we have to stop sometimes before we even get started because my body just can't take it.
We don't have sex when I'm feeling gassy...I can definitely understand why you wouldn't!
I've tried bringing it up to my doctors, even my obgyn, but they're both male and seem to avoid the subject :/
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 5 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and good probiotics.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Attempting a diet without refined sugars, high fat content, bleached or bromated flour, most dairy, red meat, and avoiding anything spicy like the plague. Also refuse to eat anything with trans fat or high fructose/corn syrup.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

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