Sex After Cancer
Whenever sex is the topic, the daily readership goes up, so I try to find new information or articles that may be of interest. Today's attempt is to tell you about a recent article from Med Page that does not really provide any new answers, but does identify the issues and admit that this is a challenging situation for many people.
For women, the issues are usually vaginal dryness, discomfort or even pain with intercourse, low or absent libido, and little responsiveness. For women without a cancer history, or at least with a possibly estrogen-related cancer history, the medical suggestions are helpful and straightforward: if not HRT, at least topical estrogen. Women who have had an ER positive breast cancer or another cancer, e.g. ovarian, that may be related, are generally advised to avoid anything that might increase estrogen in their bodies. This really does not leave a lot of other possibilities. The so-called alternative/natural treatments usually contain plant estrogens, so the problem is the same.
For men, the issue is usually ED. Of course there is Viagra, but some cancer surgeries have cut enough nerves or blood vessels that the drug cannot work as it would otherwise. And some men can't take these medications for various medical reasons.
And that brings us to today's article. I give you the start and then a link to read more. Following that will be a link to an article about a recommended lubricant.
Is There Sex After Cancer?
— Clinicians struggle to address women's concerns
It is not unusual for women with cancer to have a number of unique concerns about
sexual function following diagnosis and treatment, but it is unlikely that there is a simple
algorithm to address those concerns.
For example, the Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer used a
web-based survey to gather information about physical examination practices across a
diversity of providers and received 34 responses, according to Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD,
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, lead author of a study published in CA: A Cancer
Journal for Clinicians.
"The routine gynecologic examination performed in the general gynecology or the
gynecology oncology setting typically does not include all the elements needed to
thoroughly assess a patient with sexual function concerns," Lindau and colleagues wrote.
"In our experience, the specialized physical examination for a new patient ... typically
takes 10 to 12 minutes to complete."
And an article about a recommended lubricant:: Two that are most often valued by my patients are canola oil and Albolene.