Sexual Intimacy and Osteoporosis
When we are diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis we go through a myriad of concerns, one of which is how to remain safe during sexual intimacy. When I was diagnosed, I wondered if my sex life was over, would I fracture a bone from twisting or bending? Most of us worry about this, but it’s something the doctors never mention, to their patients, so you just don’t know how careful to be.
Since I’ve had five fragility fractures and one from a forceful injury, the horrors of that happening again play through my mind over and over like and endless recording.
If you employ a few precautions you can continue to enjoy this important part of your lives. I also found that my husband was fearful too, and treated me like a delicate piece of china, ever so careful and precautious, which had a negative effect on us both because you are spending more time being watchful while losing spontaneity.
Here are a few tips for you while still maintaining safety and enjoyment.
- Use pillows or bolsters to support your low back and hip
- Towels work well because you can control the shape and size
- Positioning is important, so allow the women to choose what is most comfortable to her that will help to avoid injuries
- Don’t twist or bend from the waist
- If you experience pain, stop and reposition or try later
- Minimize knee-to-chest positions 
- Women should be on top if you’ve fractured your pelvis or hip to reduce pelvic pressure 
- Keep hips extended to reduce spinal flexion 
- Explore other forms of intimacy that don’t involve intercourse.
- Discuss positions with a physical therapist educated in bone loss and fractures
If you are in pain, orgasms will release endorphins, which will help with the pain. Usually muscle stiffness will ease with sexual intercourse, since it is a form of exercise where you are using your muscles and joints.
Enjoy this part of your life with a little precaution, planning and common sense. Don’t give up because you are afraid; this aspect of your life will keep you both healthier and happier.
- Boning Up on Osteoporosis, National Osteoporosis Foundation and University of Connecticut Health Center, 56-58 2008
- A Reference Guide for Bone Safety, Stephanie Grant, M.S., OTR/L 2008 https://www.ionmed.us/IONmed_Systems_resources_files/A%20Reference%20Guide%20for%20Bone%20Safety%202009.pdf
Pam wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Osteoporosis.