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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Nov 9, 2004 06:28AM kathrog wrote:

At long last some of my fear is gone and I feel like having sex, but my husband seems to have lost his interest!!! Kathy

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Nov 9, 2004 07:16AM londonlady108 wrote:

I was reading these posts and immediatley thought about vasetemy (SP). My husband had his years ago after our second child was concieved using both the cap and the messy spermicide!!!! I know that there is a link with prostrate cancer but I think most of us has learnt that cancer can strike anyone regardelss of how well you thought you looked after yourself. So quality of life is def. a major motivator. Also you can use pure almond oil as a lubricant, no chemicals, pure and natural and very effective. If y9ou can buy organic then all the better. Good luck.

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Nov 9, 2004 09:16AM Anonymous wrote:

At Mena's request, I've posted what helped me get my orgasms back while on Zoloft (found out accidentally), anyone on Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft this should apply to: I think Effexor is a blend of the 2 drugs so it shouldn't steal your orgasms anyways (that's my theory on Effexor, I haven't experienced it first hand). Just to add, I did lose interest in sex a bit right after surgery and first chemo, but unless I'm having side effects from the chemo, I am almost normal again. Thank God. Hope this helps send you to new places with smiles on your faces.

OHhhhhhhhhhhhhh Pitanga, do I have news for you lmao, Yes, the anti-depressants impair my ability to reach orgasm. Now, this is graphic, so look away if you don't want to read the rest of it. It appears to be a common problem with women :you have the desire for sex, you enjoy sex, but you near orgasm, it just goes away, then comes back, and quickly goes away again (no real reason, you feel the orgasm nearing and it's just stolen away). With men, it seems to impair their desire all together, my exhusband quit Zoloft because of that. (too bad, he sure was alot nicer on Zoloft). After I divorced him in 2000, I had to bump my Zoloft up briefly at the advice of my MD. I was told at that time, if I have these side effects from the Zoloft, there has been some evidence that Wellbutrin counteracts that problem.Well, since I was celibate at the time, it didn't matter. Then I met my current husband, and yes it mattered alot. I ended up bumping my dose way down, chose to suffer some depression just to be able to enjoy sex again. About a year later, I was given Wellbutrin to add to the Zoloft for other reasons, and guess what?????????? I discovered Zoloft no longer STOLE my orgasms. OH happy day. Just wanted wanted to let you know, so you would be prepared when you have a sex life again. I can relate sister. Good luck.
Peace, Rachel
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Nov 9, 2004 12:40PM SpanArtist wrote:

Hi everybody,
I'm a newbie who posted a message here recently (under the name SpanArtist, but my real name is Liza...I've been in the chat rooms here twice so far) and I'm including some links here to things I referred to in my first post (hope I do this right)!
OK, this is the web site for the clitoral pump. By the way, this item is NOT a sex toy but considered therapy (even though it's strictly mechanical) and available ONLY by prescription from an MD. I called their customer care phone line and was told that anicdotal evidence by breast cancer survivors is that this IS helpful. The rep I spoke to said that use of this thing induces a state of arousal and that in doing so, it increases hormone levels, which alarmed me (my cancer is ER, PR positive), but she added a disclaimer, saying that she's only a layperson. I mean, if arousal were dangerous for us, our docs would tell us not to get aroused, right? Here's the exciting news...she said two doctors at the Univ. of Chicago are preparing to begin a clinical trial with this device and breast cancer patients/survivors to see if it will help us sexually, so I'm going to do further investigation and will post my findings when I have them. I'm having surgery on 11/22 and will begin chemo 3 weeks after that, so I'll probably not investigate this further until that time...but the docs' names are Dr. Maryann Schroder and Dr. Arno J. Mundt at Univ. of Chicago, in case any of you want to pursue it on your own. I would think that they would DEFINITELY consider the hormone issue!! Here's the clitoral pump website:

Next, here is an excellent article by doctors Berman and Berman (researchers on female sexuality), and at the end of the article, there's contact information. I personally will be following up (in the near future) with the contact info given, but again, maybe some of you will want to do the same:

Also, I mentioned the Hitachi Magic wand, a powerful electric vibrator, which I have enjoyed with my partner. Here, it's listed on the web site BizRate, which lists several possible sources for purchasing it:,att311407--777-,cat_id--23000200.html

AND, for those of us with depression (we DON'T need the added complication of sexual side effects from Prozac, Zoloft, etc.), there's a new anti-depressant that my internist told me about called Cymbalta that's supposed to have very low sexual side effects. My oncologist wrote me a prescription for it. I haven't tried it yet, but some of you might want to ask your oncologists if it would be a safe possibility for you. Here's the link to the Cymbalta web site (from this web site, you can access the segment for healthcare professionals, which your docs would probably want to see):

Here's a link for Kegel exercises, which strengthen vaginal muscles and improve quality of orgasm, and help along the lines of "use it or lose it," keeping things as functional as possible...kind of like the woman on this thread who said she masturbates every day. (I think that's a great idea for trying to keep things working down there!) There are many web sites which describe Kegel exercises...this is just one of them:

Hope this info helps some of you (and me too, because I haven't made love since I found my breast lump on 10/1, and I stopped my HRT on 10/6 because I was scared the lump was malignant, as it turned out to be, so I expect my sexual ability is different already, and I know it will be when I get into chemo).
Dx 10/28/2004, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 9, 2004 12:49PM SpanArtist wrote:

Just adding one'll have to copy and paste the link to the Hitachi Magic wand. For some reason, the part you can click on came out to be only partial so you won't get to the right place, but if you copy and paste the whole thing, it will take you to the right place.

Dx 10/28/2004, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 12, 2004 08:58AM Mena wrote:

Hey Hey Liza -- so sorry about your dx! We will be here for you any time you need......And you've already proven your loyalty, what with all this mojo info....WE LOVE YOU!

I haven't stopped talking about the Hitachi Magic Wand lol since I read your post the first time. Ask the girls in chat lmao .

You are going to make it, Liza. You've got the right stuff! Keep coming. That attitude is going to take you places and show you faces you've never dreamed of, Liza.

I do wish I had had your moxie when I was first dx'd.

As my teenager would say, Liza, we've got your back!
Dx 8/8/2004, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 12, 2004 11:00AM SpanArtist wrote:

Thanks for the pat on the back! I can use any "feel-goods" I can get these days (can't we all!)
I have some good news to report...I made love last night for the first time since before I found my lump on 10/1/04 (I stopped HRT on 10/6 because I was afraid it might be malignant, so I've been off HRT for over a month now). I didn't really feel like it, but in the spirit of trying to keep things functioning down there and because my partner wanted to, I did. I expected a puny little orgasm, if that, because my hormones aren't being supplemented now (the pharmacist told me the hormones from HRT would be out of my system in a week, and I'm having the hot flashes to prove it!)...but guess what?!? With the help of my Hitachi Magic Wand, things were still in good working order! Of course, I know chemo, Tamoxifen or Arimidex, etc., will have an effect on me as far as all this goes, but I'm hoping that my Magic Wand will still help!
I really do urge all of you who are concerned with this issue to purchase one of these as a first attempt to improve your situation and see if it helps. They can be bought relatively inexpensively (around $50.00) and can be ordered online. I'd really like to know if this might be a help to many of us.
Dx 10/28/2004, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 12, 2004 05:22PM Mena wrote:

Hi Liza -- WooooHooooo for the Big O. I'm so happy for you! And again, I really admire your moxie. Thanks for sharing with all of us, what for so many, is totally taboo and very politically incorrect.

As for mojo ladies, I'm still doing my homework. Here's the rundown:

Liza -- I'm getting the Hitachi Magic Wand. My husband and I are odering it tonight when he gets home from work. Btw, he left for work a very happy man lol. I'm still tingly from working the Vigel for about 10 minutes beforehand. (That's an important tip for anyone using it.)

Londonlady: Almond oil has a dual purpose in that it sounds incredibly sensual, especially aroma. How about taste? I'm on the hunt for it. Leave it to a Jersey girl .

Incognito: Your advice is working. Thank you.

Connie: You're in public relations. Find me a forum at which to host a seminar on this subject lol..........

Rachel: Thanks for posting. We all appreciate it.

Anybody else have anything to share? This topic is much, much bigger than I ever thought when I first posted. Now that I've been in this new tx for a while, I'm really seeing the effects of bc on our libidos and sex lives. I feel very ripped-off. We all know that bc steals enough from us. Making love is a natural, basic, beautiful human need and I'm devoting myself to doing whatever I can to help us all out.

Just a thought:

You might find that sharing this thread with your husbands/lovers can create a new bond of intimacy and can also be a lot of fun. This leads to open communication and understanding on both parts. There's no holding anything in, bottling anything up. (Of course, my husband thinks it's foreplay.) And they learn a lot without us really having to say a word.
Dx 8/8/2004, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 17, 2004 09:30AM richmondnan wrote:

I'm just back from a long weekend away w/ my husband. We took some advice from here (KY lubricating liquid) and the book "Your Long Romantic Weekend". Guys, it was the best weekend away we've ever had. We always have a great time in bed in Miami, but this was the peak (my husband calls it the "sexual olympics" )
Also found a smaller discreet version of the hitachi, called pocket rocket. Used it once, works great to get things going.

Ok, I'm blushing as I post, but I had to share that, plus that our purchases at Vicky's Secret were also fruitful

The exercises in the book are incredible. Its actually a very thoughtful, well written book, not prurient at all. I purchased it online after reading a recommendation in a women's magazine.

Mena, thanks again for starting the topic. I so feared that this part of our marriage would be zilcho after bc, can't believe that it is actually better (with work, practice, and believe it or not, guys, prayer)

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Nov 17, 2004 04:59PM Mena wrote:

Nan -- WOOO HOOO FOR YOU! And Hubby too!

Funny you should mention the "Pocket Rocket". A good friend of mine who shall remain nameless, (but she posted here several times and the first initial of her name is C and the rest of the letters are onnie) just told me about this gadget. She thought they were no longer being manufactured. Obviously, you've found either a very good replacement or something just as wonderful.

So, where did you get it?????? Huh huh huh huh??????? You can't just leave us hanging like this, Nan. No way. Not fair. Uh uh. Come back.

I just read your post aloud to my husband. Yes, I had to rub that long weekend in his face. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I don't care if we go to the Days Inn three lousy miles away....

Ok, I can get the book, and I'm awaiting my Hitachi Magic Wand. And I just learned that KY has a new warming gel now, as well. I'll be picking that up tomorrow.

Oh fill us in on this Pocket Rocket!

Thanks so much for sharing, even though it made you blush. See how much fun you had! I'm very happy for you. But you must fill in the blanks, puhleeze.

God Bless.
Dx 8/8/2004, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+

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