Our Members Share Tips for Improving Sexuality

By on February 10th, 2016 Categories: Day-to-Day Matters

When Valentine’s Day approaches with ads featuring romance, flowers, and lingerie, it can be a difficult reminder for some women who’ve been treated for breast cancer. Treatments can sometimes have a big impact on libido and your ability to enjoy sex.

Our Discussion Board community members exchange ideas about how to deal with these challenges in the I Want My Mojo Back! thread — one of our most popular topic areas for more than a decade.

We’re bringing you their top suggestions here. Enjoy! (And we really mean it.)

Help for improving libido

  • Watch romantic movie or soft porn on Netflix
  • Watch porn or visit short videos on Tumblr, YouTube, or another internet site
  • A little wine or other substance to help relax (e.g., medical marijuana)
  • Sexual photos
  • Massage and massage oils
  • Literotica: Erotic/sexual stories as an alternative to images
  • Super sexy lingerie or fun clothing
  • Have partner practice foreplay and/or oral sex
  • Practice masturbation on a regular basis
  • Romantic music
  • Mindfulness — for example, focus on what your five senses are experiencing in the moment to keep your thoughts from dwelling on cancer and scars, which is a turn-off

Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants: Vaginal dryness is one of the most frustrating issues many women experience during and after breast cancer treatment or due to natural menopause. Our members share information on products that have helped them with vaginal dryness, including everyday vaginal moisturizers and lubricants for sexual activity. You can read about their suggested products in the I Want My Mojo Back! thread, although we do emphasize having a conversation with your oncologist about any product you put in or on your body. You can also read the Sex Matters: Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants column by Michael Krychman, M.D. 

If you’re considering topical estrogen or any hormone-based treatments, always talk with your oncologist and gynecologist about whether these products are safe for your unique situation and your risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Here are more strategies for a better sex life from our members:

Sex toys

  • Vibrators (e.g., Hitachi Magic Wand, Pink Dot Vibe, Pocket Rocket vibrator, the Rabbit)
  • Dildos for pleasure, to stretch the entrance, prevent vaginal atrophy, and strengthen muscles

Sexual routines

  • Easier if she “goes first”
  • Regular activity is important to not lose the progress you’ve made: “Use it or lose it”

Physical conditioning

  • Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles
  • Pelvic physical therapy
  • Dilators to stretch the skin in your vaginal area and re-train the pelvic floor muscles to relax

Pain reduction

Our members share suggestions about products and other ways to reduce pain during sex. We invite you to read what they have to say in the I Want My Mojo Back! thread and to discuss them with your doctor to learn more about what might be right for you.

Medication adjustments

Observe which antidepressant you take and make necessary changes. [Editor’s Note: Some antidepressants interfere with libido. If you’re taking an antidepressant and having difficulty with libido, talk to your doctor about whether switching to a different one might be helpful.]

Reading

  • Read the book Couples Confronting Cancer: Keeping Your Relationship Strong, by Fincannon & Bruss, published by the American Cancer Society.
  • Share the I Want My Mojo Back! thread with your husband/lover to create a new bond of intimacy, normalize what others are going through, and open communication.

If you’d like to share a strategy that helped you or if you want to see more of our member suggestions, visit I Want My Mojo Back!

Melissa Jenkins, Community Director -- Melissa has been with Breastcancer.org since the start, managing the vibrant online community. She enjoys painting large abstractions of landscapes, cityscapes, and figures and spending time with her two children, husband, friends, and their four-legged companions. She also adores travel, camping, and outdoor adventures.

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