Forum: Sex & Relationship Matters — A safe place to talk candidly about how your romantic relationships and/or your sex life has changed following your diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2004 12:45PM - edited Feb 9, 2016 12:04PM by moderators

Posted on: Oct 17, 2004 12:45PM - edited Feb 9, 2016 12:04PM by moderators

Mena wrote:

Hey girls,

You know, this loss of libido thing is just unnacceptable. I was in the chat room earlier today and mentioned it and man, you should've heard how many of us are experiencing this problem. I promised the ladies I'd post my rant, so here it comes (or....doesn't ).

If bc were a man's disease, not only would there be a cure for bc by now, but certainly there'd be a plethora of non-hormonal therapies available for whatever the female version is of "erectile dysfuntion". I don't think I'm exaggerating. I'll make the damn commercials myself (no pride here lol).

Prior to the news of my recurrence/mets (August) my husband and I had a phenomenal sex life. I absofreakinlutely loved making love to my husband. (Btw, I'm 43; and as part of tx for mets, I was chemically oopherized with Zoladex and take Femara daily).

I still enjoy loving my love. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, I do. Even physically I still like it. It's just not rockin' my world, as they say, like it used to. I miss that. And I refuse to accept this as acceptable. It is not. If the genders were reversed, this would be the first &%$#* problem they'd address! Well, ok, the second.

I know the clinical reasons for the low libido, but there's got to be something out there for us that's not contraindicated with treatment. Here's what I've tried so far: a Zen approach; a "go w/the flow" attitude; a "get started and it'll all just kick in" mindset; a "try not to think about it at all" focus; et al.

I'm interested in hearing what the rest of you have to say about this matter, and I know it is an intimate one. But we're all sisters and I do hope some of you will share your experiences and whatever help you've found for missing mojo.

Thanks for letting me vent. God Bless.


****************************Addition from February 4, 2016***********************************

Hi All,

We've gone through a lot (not all) of the pages on this topic, and tried to compile your suggestions.

Do you feel that this is a complete list of what has been discussed here? Please help us make a comprehensive list of your ideas!

Member suggestions for helping the libido:

Watch romantic movie or soft-porn on Netflix

Romantic music

Watch porn or visit short videos on Tumblr, YouTube, or other 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

Mindfulness, i.e. focus on what your five senses are experiencing in the moment --To keep your thoughts from dwelling on cancer and scars

Member suggestions to improve vaginal moisture:

Coconut oil works best as a moisturizer (freeze small balls to make suppositories)

Vitamin E suppositories

Almond oil

Replens long-lasting moisturizer

Luvena vaginal moisturizer

Shea butter melted into olive oil at a 2:1 ratio

Cocoa butter

Olive oil

Gynatrof gel

DHEA vaginal suppositories

Tip to use an applicator to insert moisturizers and apply a few times a week.

Member suggestion for lubrication during sexual activity:

Astroglide Natural (free from glycerin, fragrance, flavorings, and hormones)

Slippery Stuff (free from glycerin and parabens)

K-Y warming Jelly

K-Y Sensual Silk Liquid (paraben-free)

K-Y Liquibeads

K-Y UltraGel (paraben-free)

Astroglide, X (silicone-based)

Platinum Wet (silicone-based)

Replens silky smooth lubricant (silicone-based)

Sliquid natural lubricants (free from DEA, gluten, glycerine, glycerol, parabens, PEG, propylene glycol, sorbitol & sulphates)

Additional member suggestion to reduce pain:

Topical Lidocaine solution for use at the entrance of the vagina

Member suggestion for sex toys:

Vibrators (e.g. Hitachi Magic Wand, Pink Dot Vibe, Pocket Rocket, the Rabbit)

Dildos for pleasure, to stretch the entrance, prevent vaginal atrophy and strengthen muscles

Member suggestion for estrogen or hormone-based treatments

(MUST discuss first with oncologists as not typically recommended for women who have had breast cancer)

Vagifem® (estradiol vaginal tablets) inserts

Testosterone patch or gel

ESTRING® (estradiol vaginal ring)

ESTRACE® CREAM (estradiol vaginal cream)

Scream Cream - contains a combination of prescription and non-prescription components described as blood flow enhancers and vasodiolators to apply to your clitoris (adding here, as it contains a bit of Testosterone- 0.25mg per dose)

Other member suggestions:

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

Observe which antidepressant you take, and make necessary changes

MonaLisa Touch: A minimally invasive laser treatment for vaginal rejuvenation.

Easier if she "goes first".

Regular activity is important.

Read the book, COUPLES CONFRONTING CANCER: KEEPING YOUR RELATIONSHIP STRONG, by Fincammon & Bruss, published by the American Cancer Society.

Share this thread with your husband/lover to create a new bond of intimacy, normalize what others are going through and open communication.

Take a look at this resource:

Dx 8/8/2004, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 6, 2021 10:20PM karen1956 wrote:

I'm not too far from you - also SE Denver

Karen in Denver, Dx 02/03/2006, ILC, stage IIIa, ER/PR+, HER2-,
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Feb 8, 2021 02:07AM Sunnyone22 wrote:

Karen and Mirianda - Many thanks for your replies and advice. I am grateful for having a treatment like AI that helps prevent recurrence and especially grateful that I've been able to mostly put breast cancer behind me and move on with life. It's these little reminders like the loss of hair and mojo that I hope will return, even if just partially, once AI's are behind me too.


Carpe Diem Dx 1/15/2016, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/16/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/14/2016 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 11, 2021 10:57AM kathabus wrote:

I just went to a gynecological appt with a new doctor (for me). She is part of the high risk breast clinic and deals only with menopausal patients. She highly recommended uberlube for intimacy. Click on the link below for her comments on it. Even though it's silicone based, it's pretty "clean" stuff. She said that she has found that water based products simply don't last for most people. Thought I would pass along the recommendation if anyone is looking for something.....

Dx 2/17/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/24/2020 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal Surgery 3/24/2020 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel Surgery 5/1/2020 Radiation Therapy 5/15/2020 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Radiation Therapy 5/15/2020 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast, Chest wall, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2020 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 7/21/2020 Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 23, 2021 11:52AM moderators wrote:

Jumping in to let you know that HEAL magazine (part of CURE Media Group) is interested in interviewing people about the sexual side effects of cancer treatment,. The writer is on a tight deadline, so in case you may be interested in sharing your experiences, please email or call Katherine Malmo, Phone: 206-498-4783. Thanks!

To send a PM to the Mods:
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Mar 1, 2021 03:24PM miriandra wrote:

Dr. Lindsey Doe made a wonderful video about sex and cancer. Be warned - she speaks very frankly (but warmly) about sex and sexual options, including non-traditional and kink suggestions. She also lists quite a few resources for people with cancer who still want fulfilling sex lives.

sexplanations - Sex and Cancer

Dx 5/31/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, 0/1 nodes, ER+ Surgery Mastectomy (Left)
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May 10, 2021 06:33AM Socat wrote:

OMG THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I have been struggling with low libido since radiation and I am 3 years cancer free, taking 10mg of tamoxifen 2x daily (I had to split it because the 20mg once daily was giving me severe migraines). Not really any other side effects, except for I don't even think about sex and it is killing me, not to mention my poor hubby! I've looked up side effects of radiation and tamoxifen and low libido is usually way down on the list and barely mentioned, so when I saw this, OMG Thank you sooooooooo much! Let my research begin!

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Jul 10, 2021 01:39AM - edited Jul 10, 2021 01:06PM by runor

This Post was deleted by runor.
Dx 3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 7/5/2017 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 20, 2021 11:30PM Suz-Q wrote:

my gyro prescribed testosterone cream 1 gram of cream 3 times per week for libido and 1/2 gram of estrogen 3 times a week for vaginal dryness. It’s perfect! It works! Its the one two punch combo that works for me.

56 at diagnosis. Oncotype DX 10 Dx 9/17/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/14/2015 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/21/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/4/2016 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Hormonal Therapy 10/7/2017 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Nov 27, 2021 10:13AM - edited Nov 27, 2021 10:14AM by jons_girl

Suzyq: thank you for sharing this info. I'm going to chat with my cancer gyn in dec about this. I tried testosterone cream but I think I need estrogen too.

I don't want to go on Premarin. But my insurance for some reason won't pay for estradiol cream which I think is more natural!

ive been using this:

The cream works well and comes with applicator

But being post menopausal I need my drive back which that cream doesn't give of course.

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal
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Jan 12, 2022 07:12PM runor wrote:

I have not been here in a while. 
I feel ...... numb.

I know I should want my mojo back. I don't. I just don't. I try to remember what it was like to have desire. Desire. Desire. Hmm, what IS desire? What does it feel like? It's like trying to remember a poem you used to know well and now all the words are gone. I watch shows with two people getting all romantic and I think, aww, isn't that sweet, but I know it's fiction. Made up. Pretend. Because my romantic gene is dead. 

Sex for a long time has been something I avoided as much as I could. But at least it never hurt. Then it started to hurt! It's hard to get into it when it feels like someone has hooked their finger inside your cheek and is trying to rip your face off. Along with pain, my predisposition to intense bladder infections seems to be back and a few months ago I was actually peeing blood, all thanks to some crappy sex I didn't really feel like having. 

I don't need mojo. I need a lightning bolt to the head. This is so past mojo. Ugh. (falling on face and laying there, limply)

Dx 3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 7/5/2017 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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