Breast cancer can affect your sense of sexual wellbeing, which can then affect your intimate relationships. While some people experience positive changes to their sexual wellbeing after breast cancer, many find the opposite.
Sexual wellbeing is a complicated and personal issue, and there is no right or wrong way to feel about it.
Tiredness, muscles and joints aching from Arimidex, fatigue, emotional exhaustion from coping with family and friends' anxiety and being away from home for extended time have all contributed to my lack of interest in sex.
Some people experience physical changes such as:
Others experience emotional changes like:
These affect how we see ourselves.
Treatments such as chemotherapy and some hormone-blocking therapies can cause vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex. Some people also tell us that because of their treatment and changed hormone levels, they no longer have the energy or desire for sex.
Many people experience a combination of these issues.
Whatever you experience, it’s important to know that this is quite normal and that there are things you can try to help manage the effects of breast cancer on your sexual wellbeing.
I love my husband very much and our relationship is good, but my physical body does not respond like it used to.
If you have concerns about your sexual wellbeing, it is a good idea to talk to your GP or breast care nurse. They may be able to suggest things that could help you or recommend other health professionals who can help, such as a sex therapist, psychologist or counsellor.
It may also be helpful for you to read more about the sexual wellbeing and support available.
Managing your relationship with your partner can be difficult, and intimate relationships can be especially difficult if your treatment has affected your sexual function.
It is important thing to remember that your feelings and responses are normal and appropriate. There is no one way that you are “supposed” to feel.
Here are some tips to help you manage your intimate relationship with your partner:
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