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What no one tells you about sex after cancer

arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,086
edited December 2018 in Health and wellbeing
I found this on Mama Mia ..... and couldn’t find a link ....



  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,847
    It's not a happy outcome especially for a younger woman, but to be fair, the side effect was noted in the written information on my medication I was given; my GP, oncologist and surgeon have all suggested possible treatments (but also mentioned the possible side effects of these treatments too); and in my case the atrophy may be compounded by ageing. An oncologist is, quite reasonably, focussed on trying to rid you of cancer. Unfortunately many GPs don't know much about cancer treatment side effects, refer you back to the oncologist and round we go. I found discussion with a specialist gynaecologist and my surgeon as useful as anything.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,086
    Yep ..... but mine started back in 'normal menopause' not forced!  :(  

  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,302
    edited December 2018
    Moved out to the lounge room. I can still hear the crunching. Why did we order takeaway from a Thai place that gifts these monstrosities? How did my life come to this? There used to be a way to compete with bedtime snacks.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,302
    Alternative to sex on Sunday night: me sitting up in bed eating a mini sized Cornetto icecream. The Avenue of Avaiable Pleasures narrows once again.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,957
    How the mighty fall, hey?
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,302
    Indeed. I'm glad I got my share ( and a couple of other people's) earlier :)
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    edited December 2018
    Not one medical person in my breast cancer experience has warned about the sexual side effects or enquired about how I was going on that front. Zero.
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 619
    This whole issue makes me so so angry. It's not all about "sex after cancer", is about what can be for some women a debilitating side effect of treatment. In my opinion not enough is being done to address these type of side effects. I feel women's concerns about vaginal health are dismissed too quickly by the oncologists who as @Afraser states are trying to keep us alive. Take the example of the woman in the article who couldn't use toilet paper without extreme pain. In addition to chemo and radiation, the Regional Cancer Centre I attended offers patients appointments with psychiatrists, psychologists, and dieticians. They also offer information on prosthetics, assistance with wigs and head coverings and Look Good Feel Better makeup sessions, but nothing for vaginal health issues. Our cancer guidelines should aim to treat the whole person and these Regional Cancer Centres should also have understanding gynaecologists who specialise in these type of side effects of cancer treatment. I also feel that if men were experiencing similar symptoms there would be millions of dollars thrown at research to help with these issues because of the impact of this on their lives. As I said, this issue makes me so angry. It's not all about sex. So hats off to Mama Mia for the article, but more needs to be done.
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,950
    Sorry @Zoffiel, you didn’t get my share 😁☺️
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,991
    Image result for new year cancer hope quotes
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    I agree @Nadi. It clearly falls into the 'you're a woman in pain, it must be in your head' category. Exasperating, sexist, and infuriating.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,302
    I do wonder what drives the indifference, or what is lacking when it comes to generating interest in the medical community. I'm quite sure some doctors are onto this but I, too, have had no luck engaging either my excellent GP or oncologist in a conversation about my shrivelled bits. Their attitude seems to be 'Let's worry about that later.' As far as I'm concerned it is later, verging on too late.
    Are the drug companies being dismissive-- ''That doesn't happen often and it's a small price to pay. Our studies (no self interest there) show..."
    Or perhaps the idea of (in my case) fat old women wanting to have sex is really disturbing. Fat old men are, of course, entitled to what ever pleasures appeal to them and should be agrieved when denied. We should just stop being disgusting.
    Sigh, I know that would be a ridiculously sexist thing to suggest. But that's how it feels.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,957
    I suspect there's more than a little truth in what you suggest @zoffiel
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