“Society tends to say that if you have a chronic illness or disability, then you’re not sexual. That’s a big misconception,” Dr. Phillips tells Teen Vogue. “What we have to understand is that with a life-restricting illness, sex and intimacy can be a powerful tool for coping.”

“Chronically ill people can have just as active as a sex life as any of us, it just might not look like what we have always considered sex to be,” Parker says. “These days, sex is whatever feels good to me and my partner(s).”

“I used to spend so much time apologizing for the way in which my body worked,” she says. “Since I have stopped apologizing and gotten better at communicating my wants and needs, my sex life has transformed into something I can actually enjoy and not dread.”

Read more in Teen Vogue.