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Old 02-26-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Issue's with sex.

The past 6 months something is causing problems with sex for me. Like it's not working. I am a female. Am taking pain meds but that wasn't causing that problem. I have L5-S1 herniation. Also milder one at L4. Saw my OB/GYN last week and he mentioned that sometimes low back problems can cause this due to nerve damage.

Needless to say I am horrified. I take meds for BP and really low does of an SSRI. Anyone have any thoughts on this.

Also really want to have the "roto rooter" surgery, but my hubs hears alot of back surgery stories and says it's not a good thing. I am tired of being in pain and taking pain meds. So wondering if anyone has any positive stories about this surgery.

I would love to go to sleep and wake up with only incision site pain and recovery from that. No more burning and limping.

So any thoughts on either topic would be so helpful.

 
Old 02-26-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Re: Issue's with sex..

Your L5-S1bulge could be into your thecal sac bad enough to cause the problems with sex. I fused to have my disc at that site removed and fused until my doctor told me if it moved I wouldn't have a sex life anymore among other unpleasant risks. I had lost reflex in my right knee and ankle as well. After the discectomy and fusion I got my knee reflex back and some of the ankle. There are a lot of nerves near that L5-S1 disc that can cause some nasty problems so maybe look into that. I don't regret having the surgery. I felt great for about three years. First four days after surgery were painful but I took a huge turn for the better on the fifth.
The surgeon who did mine co invented a new way to do the surgery. Two small incisions on each side of spine and go under the muscle instead of cutting muscle. You are in PT the next day and recovery takes about ninety days as opposed to six months to a year. You could ask if your Dr does this type of surgery or if he can recommend to one who does if you're interested. This was an out patient surgery believe it or not. I might not have been so comfortable with that if my wife wasn't a nurse but as long as you have someone around its fine.
Good luck. Hope this helps.

Last edited by Bradleyh100; 02-26-2012 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Left something out

 
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Issue's with sex..

Sounds like a great procedure. You mentioned 90 days of recovery. I dirve for 40 minutes each way once a week to sit with my mom. She had a stroke and my dad needs to get out and run errands. When I get there I don't have to do anything physical, my mom isn't bed ridden just memory problems.

How long before I could drive? My pain doc is for the surgery but understands I need to help with my mom. If I could drive in a few weeks I could do it sooner rather than later.

Thanks for your quick response. To those who love us, surgery sounds scary, but the idea of even 3 years out of pain sounds great.

 
Old 02-26-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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Re: Issue's with sex..

It was at least a couple of weeks before I could drive. Maybe longer but I began driving myself to the PT. pretty sure it wasn't longer than a month. That procedure was new when I had it in 2004. Only about two hundred people in the US had had it at the time so finding a PT who is familiar with seeing you that soon after surgery can be a trick. My therapist looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was one day out of surgery. This procedure may be a lot more common now. Maybe you could get a ride for a few weeks. I had a clutch at the time so it was harder to drive than an automatic after surgery.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
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Re: Issue's with sex..

Are you being treated by a spine surgeon? If not, it is important that you see a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon who limit their practice to the back and neck. Other specialties can order the MRIs, X-rays, etc. but do not have the intensive training in neck and back issues to see what all may be going on.

With both L4-L5 and L5-S1 "issues" there is a possibility of developing symptoms of cauda equina symptoms. These can include bladder and/or bowel issues such as incontinence, a variety of issues with the genitals, etc., sexual performance, etc. Unfortunately, the nerves are tightly packed into a small space in this area and any inflammation or bulging tissue can cause pressure or even compression of the nerve.

Depending on what is causing the problem, you may be able to have a simple procedure that would take the pressure off the nerves.

Regarding the "back surgery stories" it would seem that you cannot mention having a back problem to anyone on earth without hearing three horror stories in return. And people tend to lump every back ailment in together as though they were all the same. Just tune it all out. Educate yourself about the issues that pertain to you, and learn to pay no attention to whatever else you hear from other well-meaning people.

In your case you might want to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of "cauda equina symptom" and read up on lumbar stenosis and herniated discs.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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Re: Issue's with sex..

I have seen a neurosurgeon once. She explained why my left leg does what it does, or rather doesn't. The MRI said no stenosis just the herniation and that it protrudes to my left side, which is the leg that bothers me.

No bowel or bladder problems. In fact the pain meds are good at making sure my bowels don't move. But in the 18 months since I saw her the strength and feeling in my left legs has diminished. The sex thing is prob 6 months and sometimes it works. Guess I need to pay her another visit. She told me to come see her when I was ready to have surgery.

I have an automatic car. Not sure if I can go a whole month without helping my dad. My pain doc has said I should help with that and have surgery when my mom passes away. I am still managing pain with norco. Which after 18 months he seems pleased with.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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Re: Issue's with sex..

Waiting is not your friend in these matters. Permanent nerve damage is possibility and it would be awful to find out too late that if you had done it a year earlier you wouldn't have lost your sex life. But you have to decide what's more important to you and what risks you are ready to take. You should do this however with the input of a well respected spine surgeon. I know my pain doctor does surgery but he's not the same caliber as the surgeon who did my surgery. Do what's right for you but get the proper advice from the proper authority on the matter.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 08:22 AM   #8
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Re: Issue's with sex..

I have a neurosurgeon. So I suppose it's time to make another appt. And thanks.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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Re: Issue's with sex..

You might want to get a second opinion anyway. It is always a good idea to get more than one opinion prior to having spine surgery. You might want to look for an orthopedic spine surgeon so you would have an opinion from each specialty. Sometimes they approach things slightly differently.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #10
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Re: Issue's with sex..

Depending on what type of surgery you had, you would not be able to drive 40 minutes right away. There is usually a sitting restriction, particuarly after a low lumbar surgery, of 15-20 minutes in the beginning. You might be able to do it after several weeks if you broke up the trip and stopped for a brief walk around and stretch. The surgeon would want you off pain meds before giving you permission to drive.

Also, the surgeon would probably give you different advice if she were aware you are having more intense symptoms, including the sexual one. It is an indication of worsening nerve compression.

Could you hire someone to come to your parents' house while you are laid up recovering? If it were a simple discectomy, it would probably be about three weeks or so.

It is not my intention to be insensitive, but you don't really know how long your mom may live or linger, do you?

Please make an appointment with a spine specialist!

Last edited by teteri66; 02-27-2012 at 09:30 AM.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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Re: Issue's with sex..

You are correct, I should take care of myself first. I have 5 sibs that live within 5 miles. I will ask my pain doc about the sex issue's. If I skip my clonidine for BP for a day "it" works. Would that mean it's meds or nerves. Maybe both.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #12
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Re: Issue's with sex..

It very well could just be the clonidine Here's one thing I found out about the drug...."Clonidine acts by stimulating receptors on nerves in the brain that reduces the transmission of messages from nerves in the brain to nerves in other areas of the body." (from PDR)

I think you may want to talk with your pharmacist and/or prescribing physician to see if it could be affecting the L5 or S1 nerves function. You could also have an EMG and nerve conduction study to see if there is nerve damage.

 
Old 03-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #13
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Wink Re: Issue's with sex..

[QUOTE=Lynette57;4935103]The past 6 months something is causing problems with sex for me. Like it's not working. I am a female. Am taking pain meds but that wasn't causing that problem. I have L5-S1 herniation. Also milder one at L4. Saw my OB/GYN last week and he mentioned that sometimes low back problems can cause this due to nerve damage.

Needless to say I am horrified. I take meds for BP and really low does of an SSRI. Anyone have any thoughts on this.

Also really want to have the "roto rooter" surgery, but my hubs hears alot of back surgery stories and says it's not a good thing. I am tired of being in pain and taking pain meds. So wondering if anyone has any positive stories about this surgery.

I would love to go to sleep and wake up with only incision site pain and recovery from that. No more burning and limping.

So any thoughts on either topic would be so helpful.[/QUOTE]

I would LOVE to hear what becomes of this, because your problem pretty much mimics the problem I'm having as well. Small bulge L4 with L5-S1 herniation. Things seem to feel different "down there" and it's frustrating!!

 
Old 03-03-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Re: Issue's with sex..

Going to talk to pain doc thursday about the roto router surgery.
Hoping it will be a quick procedure and will wake up out of pain.

It is wearing me out after 5 years. But this latest issue is just too much to think about becomming permanent.

Guess I need to start a thread about LMD surgery. Would love to hear some positive stories.

 
Old 03-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #15
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Re: Issue's with sex.

What is LMD surgery?

 
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