“I was only about eight years old when I was diagnosed with PH, secondary to other conditions. My parents were told I may never even get my periods, which I did get at the age of 13, so thankfully my sexual health has been fine.
I have always been extremely skinny all my life thanks to my health conditions. I was teased in school and I never thought I’d ever find anyone who would want to be with me. I had the lowest self-esteem once I hit puberty.
As I grew older and met more people, I realised there are good guys out there too, and men actually wanted to date me. It still bothers me though, especially when I need to get intimate with someone – I keep thinking they’re going to be disgusted by my body or the fact that I get tired so quickly during any act of physical intimacy.
As I’ve always had PH, my problem growing up was telling the men I was going out with about the condition. The times when I’ve had sex, I’ve sometimes been out of breath quickly. It’s difficult to explain to someone that you need to keep stopping. I also can’t put in the same amount of physical effort as the other person.
In addition, my focus is always on making sure my breath is okay and I’m not too exhausted; this makes it extremely difficult to even achieve an orgasm. I really worry sometimes that I’ll never be able to actually be intimate with someone to the extent where I’m not constantly worried about running out of breath.
It’s hard to put yourself out there and date when you live with a lung disease and it can be difficult to find someone who is okay with not having children. This fear also makes me hold back from getting too involved with someone.”
Prisha’s name has been changed to protect anonymity