Low libido on Arimidex

Hi everyone,
Have been on Arimidex since November 08 but just lately I don’t seem to have much interest in sex. My husband is brilliant and never makes an issue of it, but I still feel awful about it. I am 65. Has anyone else had this problem?

Hi Laraine

You are not alone! It’s incredibly common and comes up a lot on these forums.

Hormone ‘therapy’ is a bit like chemical castration for ladies, I feel. Blocks or suppresses the oestrogen associated with our tumours. And oestrogen has a powerful influence on libido.

It’s a very sad and depressing SE and one that doesn’t get addressed a great deal by the medical profession.



Thanks so much for replying so quickly, I feel better knowing I’m not on my own in this. I seem to have quite a few of the dreaded SE,but hadn’t heard of this one. Thanks again. Laraine X

Hi Laraine

I agree with the last posting that it’s a very common problem. Have you tried all the usual helps; Replens - vaginal moisturiser and Sylk or Yes as a personal lubricant? For some women they’re enough to help you through it.
Best wishes,

Low libido…surely that should be NON EXSISTANT!!! well mine has packed up and left home.
And to be honest is causing big rift in our relationship!
It is so very hard to come to terms with, but there is no ‘glimmer’ of interest on my part! Given only being 39 the aches nd pains from Arimidex and oopherectomy/lack of oestrogen I feel more like an 80 yr old than a 30 something!
very frustrating.
THe last time we had sex was May in 2008!!! Just how patient does my husband have to be! I feel like a freak as I have no urge…it is just so bloody unfair!!!

Hi Becks
So sorry to hear what’s happening to you. It’s not so bad for us as I’m much older than you. It must be a nightmare for you both. Do you know if things are likely to be back to normal when we finish Arimidex? I,ve been on it a year now.

another hurdle to try to get over, you would think they could counter balance this, it is after all a part of life, and we all need comfort for the soul. As for me ive not had a labido for a couple of years now, 54 post meno, my other half is very patient, the subject has been put to bed (excuse the pun), still v feel very guilty though.

does anyone know the criteria for which hormones you get given, is it meno stage or down to type of growth???

keep wellxx

Not been on the site for a while, my diagnosis was 3 years ago yesterday & I am at home poorly at the moment, takes me back to the 7 months I spent watching daytime telly whilst on my treatment, it does get better I promise, been on Arimidex since May 07, joint pain is a problem, especially first thing in the morning, have to sit on edge of bed before properly standing up, loss of libido has been a huge problem in our relationship, lack of desire (oh to have that back again)lubrication - tried a few things YES seems to be a good one, I do long for the day Life gets back to normal (whatever normal is)Good luck to you all.

Hi all

Truffle shuffle, hormone ‘therapy’ (Tamoxifen, Arimidex, etc) sort of suppresses our hormones; that’s why we have no libido. Removal of ovaries can have a similar effect.

I think products such as Yes, Replens and Sylk are fine are far as they go, ie they can solve the mechanical aspect of the problem. But desire is rather more than just being physically capable of performing the act, isn’t it?

And I think it’s insulting to women (well, to me at any rate!) to suggest that our bodies are little more than rusty locks that just need a bit of freeing up; that kind of attitude belongs in the Dark Ages, as far as I’m concerned. What about feeling like it as well? I thought the days were long past when we were expected to just lay back and think of England…

Sorry, ranting

X to all


Truffle shuffle

Not sure if this is what you meant, but I think very generally, ladies are given Tamoxifen if pre-menopausal and an aromatase inhibitor, like Letrozole, Arimidex, if post-menopausal. This is only if your bc was hormone receptive, of course.

Ann x

Hi Bahons
Oh how I agree with everything you said, rant on as much as you want, Its exactly how I feel. x

Hi everyone,

As far as I understand (not a medic) the difference between aromatose inhibitors is that they stop any production of oestrogen whereas Tamoxifen ‘coats’ any oestrogen to inhibit it from feeding hormone sensitive cancers. (Any experts out there feel free to contradict me!)

The ovaries are the primary producers of oestrogen but a small amount of oestrogen is also produced in glands near the kidneys. Aromotose inhibitors are given to post-menopausal women because (I presume) the docs think they’ve probably given up on sex anyway and so won’t be concerned about losing their mojo!

I am post-menopausal (61) and was taking Letrozole and my bits all gradually dried up. It caused other problems like thrush too. After putting up with the situation for a while I eventually complained to my oncologist and he agreed to put me on Tamoxifen BECAUSE with Tamox you can also be given locally applied oestrogen pessaries. I was also referred to a gynecologist who checked out my problems. He ‘kick-started’ me with two weeks of the oestrogen pellets but now I can use it once a week. It has helped enormously with lubrication but does nothing for my libido. It does at least allow us to make love - even if it is a bit of a one-sided event! I still enjoy the intimacy, kisses and cuddles.

Hope this helps!


This is such a big problem and yet it gets so little attention, whether it warning beforehand about it happening, help with the problems, or even research into ways it can be avoided.

I imagine if we knew, or even in some limited way could experience the long-term fallout of out treatment in terms of SEs (ie, if they were completely honest with us), BEFOREHAND, how many of us would opt for the ‘full Monty’?

…I suppose it’s the usual rationale. We’re alive, what more could we possibly want??? A reasonable quality of life, too?

Don’t get me started…

X to all


Hope you don’t mind me joining in here.
I have been having psychosexual counselling for the past 4 months or so and although it has been helpful to talk through some issues I am astounded that I have looked here today and found what is quite possibly the cause of my difficulties!
Diagnosed in March 03- WLE and radiotherapy then onto Tamoxifen, July 05 total hysterectomy and thus surgically induced menopause - horrendous menopausal symptoms and after 9 months or so changed to Arimidex - (so probably spring 06).
It feels as if that part of my brain is not connected - like the switch has been put to off - all the talking has been helpful but no one seems prepared to address the issue - is there any hope that when i stop taking the Arimidex next March (as suggested by my consultant when last seen) that ‘things’ will go back to normal - or at least something vaguely resembling normal? I was allowed an extention of time on treatment (originally having been told I would be on Tamoxifen for the 5 years and then nothing) but I feel as if I have done myself more harm at the moment - destruction of quality of sex life. I love my partner deeply but that side of our relationship is severely strained and at only 48 that is hard to take - having said that I don’t want to stop taking the tablets either - dreading that ‘lifeline’ being taken away!
Thank you for letting me ramble and if anyone knows about the return to normal would love to hear about it.
Kathy x

Can echo what you are saying, the aches are bad especially in neck and shoulder but at 36 and single didnt realise the problems I could incur, met someone, nothing serious but did cause a problem and not met someone and taking it slow but alreary worried about the potential problems as am on arimidex after having ovaries removed - any tips on getting rid of the horrendous faial hair too - I dont want to ome off pills cos will do anything to try and prolong my life and stop the disease coming back but could do with some tips on side effects.

Hi again, all

Kathy, I do feel for you, having gone through the counselling…did no-one ever ask you what meds you were on?

Do I take it that you have had your ovaries removed as well? If so, it may be more difficult to get back to normal.

I haven’t taken any hormone ‘therapy’ for about 15 months; I’ve been having chemotherapy instead, most of the time and even when I haven’t, nothing has changed for me in terms of libido, which I was terribly, terribly disappointed about.

Attempts to interest those involved in my care - I’m well past the stage about being embarassed - I just want some help! - have got me some fairly lukewarm responses, altho’ I now have a referral to a doctor specialising in these matters. However, it’s taken quite a while…



I too have totally lost my libido since starting Arimidex in January this year. My husband is very very understanding but describes it as a form of chemical castration!! I too thought of counselling but couldnt really see the point when the object of Arimidex as far as I know is to block the production of oestrogen. At the menopause from what I have read falling oestrogen levels cause all sorts of problems one of which is of course loss of libido. I havent got an answer to it apart from being told that Arimidex is a very good drug and I see NICE advised in February this year that all post menopausal women after bc be offered Arimidex is preference to Tamoxifen. Both my oncologist and bcn have said it is an excellent drug and the oncologist, when I complained of joint aches was loath to take me off it.

have been on Arimidex since Jan 05. Separate rooms and no love life since.Not even slightly interested, Brad Pitt, no pants, no thanks, rather have a cup of tea

I too have totally lost all signs of any Libido since I started taking Arimidex in May 09 .

Mind you it wasn’t too good all through my Chemo and Rads…I also have breast lymphoedema …and a swollen and sore boob doesn’t exactly put you in the mood for sex either.

I am 61 and was diagnosed in Aug/Sept 08 , so basically no sex since then…my lovely hubby is very understanding…but I do feel depressed and guilty about it all sometimes .

To make matters worse I have had some spotting , which I blamed on the Arimidex…but a scan shows it may have other causes…so am going in for an exploratory hysteroscopy under a general anaesthetic on the 24th Nov. ( They tried three times with a local and could not manage it …ouch ) So that is not going to help is it ?


Has anyone come across this in the news today. I have to say it looks quite hopeful although the study was on pre-menopausal women.