True indeed! For the life threatening disease called cancer and its treatment can create a lot of changes in your body (both physically and psychologically). And most of the times, it would be these changes or rather side effects that would take time to get used to.
Cancer and Sexual Dysfunction
A common complaint among many cancer survivors is the loss of libido that they experience right from the diagnosis to the end of the treatment. Different forms of cancer and the treatment for the same can cause loss of sexual energy and performance. Collectively called as sexual dysfunction, the condition prevents women from enjoying sex with their partners.
Types of Sexual Dysfunction Caused by Cancer
Cancer can cause a series of physical and emotional issues in the body that are either directly or indirectly related to sexual dysfunction in women. Accordingly, some of the sexual side effects that are quite common among cancer survivors include low sexual energy, loss of sexual arousal, vaginal dryness, decreased vaginal size and painful sex (pain during penetration).While some women may experience just one or two of these effects, some would tend to experience all the side effects mentioned above.
Cancers that Cause Sexual Dysfunction
Not all cancers cause loss of libido. Certain types of cancer that have the potential to affect the sexual organs would normally cause sexual dysfunction in women. These would include breast cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer etc. These types of cancer have the potential to cause long term sexual dysfunction irrespective of the treatment.
Cancer Treatments that Cause Sexual Dysfunction
A woman may have a type of cancer that is nowhere connected to her sexual organs. However, she still stands chances of contracting issues like sexual dysfunction if the treatment for the specific type of cancer can cause loss of libido.
Accordingly, some of the more common cancer treatments that can cause sexual dysfunction in women include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy (for cancers in the uterus, vagina or cervix), and surgery/radiation therapy for cancers present in the pelvic area (for instance, the colon, rectum, cervix, ovaries, bladder and the vagina etc).
How can Female Sexual Dysfunction (Caused by Cancer) be Cured/Treated?
Sexual dysfunction caused by cancer and its treatment can create havoc in an otherwise loving and peaceful relationship. In addition to inhibiting the urge to perform sexually, the condition can also affect the partners emotionally. So if you are suffering from sexual dysfunction and can’t wait to get back on the road after successfully battling cancer (and winning), here are some ways you can get your sexual life back on track.
Have a Talk with the Doctor First
Talking about intimate problems like sexual dysfunction can be embarrassing. However, if you want to treat the issue you need to first talk about it to a qualified doctor who would then recommend the best course of action for you in terms of either supplements or counseling sessions.
Have a Talk with your Partner
Sexual dysfunction can affect the healthy relationship between partners. Even though you may be facing the problem, your partner would be feeling its effect to. So make it a point to discuss the problem with him too.
Gently explain the fact that you are slightly sexually defunct as of now and it would take some time for you to become sexually active again. Make him understand that it is all a part of recovering from cancer and that you would be able to enjoy sex and make him enjoy sex as soon as you start feeling normal again.
Again, you can discuss with your partner and find out alternate ways to show your love and affection. A simple cuddle, caress, hug or kiss can do wonders in keeping the romance alive in your relationship. And until you are fully cured, you can rely on these actions to help your partner feel special and loved.
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