Can Sex when you Have CancerDave Smith
For people with cancer, sex can be a powerful affirmation of vitality: many patients say it is one of the most important markers for their quality of life. Unfortunately, research shows that only about 14% of doctors talk to their cancer patients about their sex life. Some patients confuse this lack of communication with the meaning that their symptoms are beyond hope. Fortunately, this is not the case: there are things you can do to preserve sexual expression during and after cancer. Here are some suggestions for four common challenges:
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Physical changes. Cancer can endanger the sexual and reproductive organs of a person’s body. For example, a patient with breast cancer can not only suffer the devastating loss of one or both breasts, but often has to take medications that lower her estrogen levels, which can change the lubrication and elasticity of her vagina. even take her to menopause. , potentially as a young woman. Seventy percent of prostate cancer patients are likely to lose or suffer damage to their erections. And almost all cancer patients suffer fatigue while receiving chemotherapy and radiation, making it hard to find energy for sex.
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Suggestion: Physiotherapy can make sexual intercourse comfortable after vaginal changes and can help mobility during sexual intercourse for associated lymphedema after lymph node dissection. Consult your oncologist about the possibility of an estrogen cream that has recently been approved by the North American Menopause Society for patients with breast cancer. Your urologist may have several solutions for erection loss starting with medications to improve erection, including implanted penis pumps. The opportune moment to take advantage of the moments of greater energy in the day can help to counteract fatigue.
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The desire is often overshadowed in cancer early by the survival instinct as a person faces the news of the diagnosis. Both desire and ease of arousal can be diminished by chemotherapy, hormonal deprivation and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors used to treat cancer-related depression and anxiety. Difficulties with arousal can mean that an aspect of life that was full of joy and play now becomes work.
Suggestion: You may need to change your expectations about the time required for arousal, as well as the power or type of orgasmic sensation, whether it is a man after surgery or radiation for prostate cancer or a woman with cancer. Breast or gynecological. Vibrators, erotic fantasy and medical intervention may be necessary for arousal and should be considered legitimate tools. Consult a psychiatrist about medications for depression and anxiety that will not have sexual side effects.
Sexual self-image An integral component of sexual functioning is our body image, which serves as a psychic map of how we relate sexually, encompassing our appearance, our physical strength, our energy and our identity, and our seductive power. Mastectomy and erectile dysfunction can alter a person’s physical integrity, which can change the way he or she, if not the world, perceives their sexual identity.
Suggestion: Mindfulness is a powerful way to accept deep loss and change in the body after illness. You can learn the basics of mindfulness through articles and videos online. If you are interested in going deeper, see if there are mindfulness classes in your area.
Sexual relationship Sexuality and relationship are inextricably linked, so any sexual problem that results from your cancer will surely affect your relationship.
Suggestion: Therapy can help your partner deal with their own pain and personal loss. It can also help you and your partner get closer to each other to feel comfortable instead of retiring. Your ability, as a couple, to communicate about sexual changes and feel free to seek mutual support is necessary for total recovery. Together, they must accept and redesign a new sexual normality.
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