Breast Cancer, a Sex life and the Estring!

June 22, 2015 - 23:17

Hi all,

I'm going to go out on a limb here and talk about something that a lot of people don't want to talk about - sex after cancer.
I am thankfully after finishing my chemotherapy, mastectomy and reconstruction and the prognosis is good. My cancer is estrogen driven so I'm on tamoxifen.

Prior to my cancer I had a very normal healthy sex life with my wonderful partner but now its non existent as I'm completely unresponsive and very tender! I have tried lots of things, i.e. replens, vitamin E etc but to no avail.

Has anyone tried the Estring or Vagifem? I know they release small amounts of estrogen into the bloodstream - is it too risky??

This is a real problem as I feel far too young to be giving up a loving sex life and there must be others on this site with similar issues??

June 24, 2015 - 19:17

As soon as I saw the subject line, I thought to myself, "Well, this could be interesting!!", lol. I went to my GP with this issue last month.

Yes, I hear you; nothing much happens in the Fifty Shades way anymore for me, the height of excitement is getting a full un-broken nights sleep !! However, myself and my other half have spoken about it... he knows that my heart is willing but my body is not so he has gotten used to taking it when he can, God love him. I always thought the endless side-effects of menopause was a load of sh*te until this year - last year I was fine (had a few menopausal moments), this year I am a zombie and can only put it down to going through the menopause proper.

I've only started using Replen - I suppose I had thought it was going to be like a light switch and magically my sex life would be transformed; while it relieves some of the uncomfortable problems I had, it's not fixing them all

I have no advice to offer.... as soon as I find anything remotely helpful, I'll be back on.

June 28, 2015 - 22:05

Oh ladies. I haven't logged on in ages. I am 39 and I feel about 70. I am so dry and just have no sex drive. My husbands patience are wearing thin. We have talked and talked but he just doesn't get it. But neither do I. I mentioned to my onc last time I seen her and she had nothing to offer. Which really pissed me.

June 29, 2015 - 22:59

Oh ladies. I haven't logged on in ages. I am 39 and I feel about 70. I am so dry and just have no sex drive. My husbands patience are wearing thin. We have talked and talked but he just doesn't get it. But neither do I. I mentioned to my onc last time I seen her and she had nothing to offer. Which really pissed me.

July 7, 2015 - 18:17

Hi Superwhy and Encee, thanks so much for your responses as I thought no one would reply and it has to be an issue for a lot of women?! Particularly if you're younger and your partner finds it hard to understand. As we're both in our 50's its a bit easier but I still miss the intimacy of the pre cancer/menopause days. Like you said Encee - the heart is willing.....

My GP is great and my Onc does try his best but I really have to find a solution myself. Its seems that everything successful on the market contains estrogen!!!

I have a small update as in I have discovered Sylk http://www.sylk.co.uk/ and I find it far better than replens and finally the soreness is beginning to go away. It's early days but I'll keep you updated.

Superwhy - Maybe it might help if you talk with a cancer support group and see if others have any advice/help to offer both of you - it might help a bit?

July 10, 2015 - 21:35

Hi Spud!!

Thanks for that link; I'm lucky that I have a strong group of women friends of all ages and health issues that talk endlessly about sex lives, weight issues, etc., you name it, we've discussed it, lol! So I know we are not alone in talking about this. As the old BT ad said, "it's good to talk!"

July 18, 2015 - 20:13

I've tried quite a few different moisturisers including replens, and to be honest they're all much of a muchness. Even though it says they can last for 3 days I don't find this to be the case and always use plenty right before sex and also use plenty on outside of vagina as the applicator tends to place the product high up into vagina and the area near opening can be dry and be sore. Sorry if this sounds a bit grafic but it has helped me anyway. Just thought I'd share. Before my diagnosis sex meant my husband taking a few min to put on condom and now instead it's me taking a few min to put in vaginal lubrication!! It doesn't bother us at all! Hope this helps!

July 23, 2015 - 19:56

It sure is good to talk. Thanks Ladies

July 27, 2015 - 15:55

Hi all, thanks for bringing this us. I'm in my forties and in the same boat. Feel like my sexual body has shut down. Don't think it helps that I have only one breast and can't bear to take my bra off. My husband is fed up and our efforts are mostly unsatisfactory.
I just remembered that the gynae told me about Sylk at the time I had hysterectomy. I lost the note she wrote it on so never got it. She said at the time to get it on the net and that it's the best product. I'll get it and report back

August 4, 2015 - 18:41

Well, very glad to see this topic heading today. A sex life after cancer. It sometimes feels like the last big taboo in cancer. Yes, I look okay, feel pretty okay and I'm learning to live with any side effects of treatment. But sex drive is gone, zilch. It's the weirdest feeling in the world. I was on tamoxifen, then switched to aromosin including monthly injection (decapetyl) to stop ovulation. My breast cancer is oestrogen receptive. On tamoxifen my sex drive was all over the place, but was there. On this new treatment it's gone, overnight, literally.
We've talked about it very openly and know it's another in that long list of side effects. I've spoken to a nurse, my gp, an oncology nurse and googled till I'm exhausted looking. I can't find an answer that doesn't include adding oestrogen in some way back into the body.
Like so many others I'm struggling with no sex drive. I love my other half so much and we've always had a great sex life. Even through chemo, surgery(double mastectomy), sickness we had that magic spark between us, alive and lit, keeping us feeling very close. I'm way too young for this.i never, ever, imagined having no sex drive. I'm devastated to put it mildly.
I've tried so much and basically it comes back to the hearts willing but the body ain't.
How do other people cope with this awful side effect. And why, why is it not discussed more.....women hide away struggling. So glad to see it being discussed and any positive stories so welcome........tried the replens etc but they only do so much.

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