Sex, Drinking, Smoking, and UC continued...
Alcohol can bring on UC flare-ups in some people and can be a big problem with some UC medications. Always check with your doctor about whether drinking alcohol is safe for you.
Then there’s the issue of sex. If you choose to be sexually active, there’s no reason you can’t have a normal sex life. But you may be concerned about unpredictable bathroom runs, abdominal pain, or surgical scars.
If you have active UC, talking to the person about it will make it easier for the times that you don’t feel well or need to stop in the middle of sex. Communicating about your UC with a lover can also increase intimacy.
"I tell young women, 'I'm not here to make a judgment call,’" Kim says. ”’I'm not here to tell you it’s right or wrong for you to drink or engage in sexual activity. You just need to be careful.’ This is advice I would give to any young woman, regardless of whether she had ulcerative colitis."
You may not end up being the biggest social animal at your school, but there’s no reason why you can’t go to parties, develop good relationships, and have fun. The key is to control your ulcerative colitis, so it doesn’t control your life.
"When you have a chronic illness, there's a tendency to place your identity with the disease itself," says Kim. "'You happen to have ulcerative colitis. That doesn't define who you are. When you go to college, you don't put your life on hold because you have this disease.”