WFH NETWORK

Hemophilia, relationships and intimacy: answering your questions

Have you ever had questions about relationships or intimacy? What about questions about your bleeding disorder and how it relates to your relationships, intimacy, and sexuality? Sometimes it can feel like no one else has these questions, or that they are things we can’t talk about, which can make it hard to discuss them with healthcare professionals. Everyone has questions about these very personal and important subjects, whether they have a bleeding disorder or not, which is why it’s important to talk about them, and to get good information from experts. In a short new World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) video, Luis Melgar, discusses some common questions regarding relationships, intimacy, and sexuality with psychosocial expert Frederica Cassis, and musculoskeletal expert Greig Blamey. Luis Melgar is the President of the Panamanian Foundation of Hemophilia, Frederica Cassis is the WFH Psychosocial Committee Secretary, and Greig Blamey, is the chair of the WFH Musculoskeletal Committee.

Luis Melgar, President of the Panamanian Foundation of Hemophilia (WFH NMO)

“Participating in WFH Youth programs, I’ve noticed a lot of young people have questions about relationships and their bleeding disorders, that for different reasons they are afraid to ask; in this video, I ask some of those questions for them, on their behalf. I hope that people will learn something from the video and feel less shy to ask their own questions!”

Covering topics such as dating, kissing, telling a partner about one’s bleeding disorder, sexual health, marriage, and having children, their conversation may answer some of the very questions that you have also wondered about. Cassis and Blamey work with people with bleeding disorders in Brazil and Canada, respectively, and are very comfortable answering these questions. They provide clear and easy-to-understand information that can help you to start a conversation with your own healthcare providers.

Frederica Cassis, Psychologist (Brazil), Secretary of the WFH Psychosocial Committee

“I have been a facilitator for many groups of youths and parents exploring relationships and intimacy. This video was my first and as a first I was excited but also afraid. One message that I would really like to deliver with this video is this: always go after your dreams, build them through knowing yourself better, facing your fears, and always asking the questions that you need answers to! We are here for all of you!”

The video, which can be found on the WFH eLearning Platform, has subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, making it easy for everyone to follow the discussion. An anonymous form, posted with the video, invites viewers to leave their comments and any further questions that they might have about relationships, intimacy, sexuality, and bleeding disorders. The WFH would love to hear what you think about these important topics and what other questions we can ask our experts to answer for you. Please note that no one will know who sent the questions as all responses are totally private. Don’t forget that you can also take your questions to a member of your comprehensive care team that you feel comfortable talking to, and they can help you find answers.

 

Greig Blamey, Physiotherapist (Canada), chair of the WFH Musculoskeletal Committee

“It’s perfectly natural for people to have questions about intimacy, and while I know that it can feel awkward to talk about them, healthcare professionals answer these sorts of questions all the time. Sexual health is an important part of your whole health and we are happy to discuss any questions with you.”

Watch the video today by clicking here. Feel free to share it with a friend who might have questions.