i am posting to the BCC publication 'Sexuality intimacy and breast cancer' which contains some information on vaginal dryness (page 15):
I also suffer with very painful sex does anybody no if you can use sensilube, or do you have to see a doctor to get a prescriped cream/lubricant. any advice would be appreciated, thank you
I am ressurecting this post having been recommended a product recently by another cancer vixen and then giving it a go ;)and it meeting expectations I felt I would share it with you
Lubrication product called PJUR Glide cream available on Amazon.
Also I would recommend a book that is published in America but avilable over here called 100 questions & answers about Breasct cancer Sensuality, Sexuality and Intimacy ISBN 978-0-7637-7909-2 published by Jones Bartlett Learning i
love rhi xx
Sorry to hear you having such a rough time, sounds like you need to get back to an understanding GP and talk this through. I was only diagnosed in Nov 09 aged 46, have finished chemo but am also experiencing problems with painful sex. Have tried replens and sylk but made no difference. My oncologist not happy for me to use any oestrogen pessaries which is frustrating as others on this site seem to have been given the go ahead and has made a big difference.
Sorry have ended up talking more about me than you, I would hope not to be in this situation in 3 months never mind 3 years so not surprised you are feeling so low. Really hope things improve for you and hope you get to see a good gp.
Lots of love J x
I’m sorry to hear that you are having a pretty tough time at the moment. I’m sure the users of this site will be along to support you soon.
In the meantime maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 600 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 9.00 to 2.00.
I was dx in feb 2006 aged 46 and the chemo put me into the menopause and i am on tamoxifen.I can put up with hot flushes ,cramp aches and pain, but having no libido to speak of,sore and bleeding ,itchy all the time is just getting me down.
My husband and i are going through a bad patch, well we have been for a year. He was a rock to me all through my treatment and after the treatment had finished ,but now he was hopeing that things would get back to normal,well so was i!
I've tried everything,replens,sylk ovestin but nothing is working i feel so depressed i went through a anger stage but now i think wants the point! Nobody listens to me ,they look at me and i know what they are thinking, your alive want more do you want,quite frankley the way i'm feeling at the moment i think i'd rather be dead this is a living hell! But i don't really want to die ,i feel cancer has taken over 4 years of my life away and i don't want it to take anymore!please can anyone help i don't know anywhere else to turn.
Hi to you all
This is a very interesting thread, as this side of things has really affected me long after my initial treatment finished, then you seem to be just left to get on with this side of it.
I was DX in Aug 2006, age 43, and the chemo put me into the menopause, which I then seemed to dip in and out of, and killed what was a healthy sex life, due to the pain and lack of libido.
Eventually I was fed up and read on here of someone else using the Vagifem, so I went to the GP and he referred me back to the consultant. He was happy for me to use it, even though my tumour was hormone related, and I must say it has given me back part of my life that I was loath to let the cancer steal.
No regrets, and it doesn't matter what people say, this was something really important to me.
Things are not as they were before, but I can live with how it is now at least. Hubby and I have a lot of living and loving still to do!
Best wishes to you all, and I hope you all find something that works for you.
Oh that's good to hear Gennie, having re-discovered the pleasures after 10 years in the wilderness, I'd hate to lose the interest, so its good to know there is a low risk option in the cupboard. In fact, it was something that really concerned me - so much so that I got my (male) best friend to promise he would make it his duty to remind me how much I enjoyed it should I appear to have lost interest! Bless him for not running away screaming, but he's pretty relieved that the chap I met just before diagnosis seems to have stepped up to the plate on that score.
Well I'm now on day 6 of the imaginitively titled 'Vagifem' which my Onc suggested my GP prescribe for me. It's very low dose and only locally absorbed oestrogen, plus you don't take it for long at all - it's a matter of weeks, then supposedly it lasts a few months then you start again, but my goodness the difference.
My libido was always on the high side in the past, so the reduction following breast cancer, chemo, rads, oophorectomy and femara has taken its toll but I do still have such a thing. I'm probably more closely matched to my DH in that regard now (he's older than me and on antidepressants - bless us, we're hardly love's young dream) but I have noticed a difference already. No pain at all. In fact, dare I say..........:D 😄 :D!
For me, after all I've been through, the loving relationship without discomfort is worth the negligible risk. I hope I'm not here in due course to eat my words, but that's how I feel right now.
I'm the same leucite-enjoyable when it happens, but have to put in some effort to feel motivated! I'm having a night away with OH, without my young kids, which I think will help a bit too. Yes, some instant libido would be nice!
When I told my oncologist she said that she could have told me that would happen, loss of libido that is. Its just as if they feel its not important, but its not just us it affects.
If it was a man's problem I am sure an answer would be found.
Rhian's post made me laugh about posting and showing your photo! I'm about to do the same; 😞
My libido is non-existent and has been for a while before bc which I put down to being peri-menopausal.I'd thought of trying HRT in an attempt to alleviate the situation for 5yrs or so, but obviously that's out of the question now. I'm 49, don't consider myself quite over the hill and wanted to feel feminine again. I wonder if there's anything else that can be safely prescribed to bring it back?
I use the Boots or Durex Play intimate lube stuff - it's great, comes in either a plastic bottle or individual sachets and you can pick various flavours or ones which heat up - some of them even taste quite nice :')
My partner takes great delight in dripping it onto me when it's freezing cold and making me jump. You can also get the same thing in a 'melt' which you put in the freezer and then massage it wherever you want. Time to get my own back lol.
I find my sex drive is completely zero - probably due to my ovaries being killed during chemo, but I enjoy sex when I make the effort to have some - I'd say it is worth bothering with, although most of me often just wants to read a book. I really would like some libido back, particularly as I am getting married in November.
Glad you did though Rhian-made me smile!
Good thread, this. I haven't tried any of the creams and pessaries, thought it was just me, and didn't consider mentioning it-seemed too difficult and personal. I feel like I'd just got a bit of spark back once my kids were no longer babies and bang, straight into bc and early menopause! what a b****er!
You've made me feel like addressing it and making a bit more of an effort to get things going, so to speak!
I found the replens was a bit Ucky with the white bits!! I know we are all most prob a bit long in the tooth for sex advice but what about exploring non penetrative stuff, and touching and massage, cosmopolitan magazine web site has some great 'alternative techniques' advice......dear lord can't believe i just wrote all that on a site that shows my photo LOL 😉 x
Same problems really, interesting to read what you say about Replens making you itch Chris, I have used it for ages then for whatever reason I am the same.
When I saw my onc the other week she said she would not have any objections to me using some oestrogen cream and would write to my GP.
Also like you its for the other half, if I was on my own it would'nt bother me.
Its a relief to see that others are having the same problem as me. Sex drive all but disappeared (after starting Arimidex) and when any attempt is made it hurts like hell! I too tried Replens but that just made me itch a lot (not nice). Have used K Y Jelly since the menopause but think Silk might be worth a try now. Although to be honest its more for the other half, I would, to quote the Victoria Wood song, "be happy with a digestive and a cup of tea!"
maybe olive oil in an emergency while having a knee trembler in the kitchen ....;) ...( that type of thing a distant memory but i live in hope ) not sure i would want to whip out a bottle in the bedroom though xxxx
linky says on 13 May 2010 23:06
"MY GP advised me not to bother with all the pessaries and creams. He recommends OLIVE OIL. Not tried it yet myself; but the SE of arimidex is creeping up on me so I'll give it a whirl when I need to."
I find that unbelievable! How old is your GP?!
Yes I've recently started taking Femara after an oophorectomy and I'm experiencing the same thing. Just as I am at a stage where I want to get my life back, including a healthy marriage, I find sex is suddenly really sore. I'm 42, I just had the worst year of my life and I want to live a little. OK I'm not rocking around the clock these days, but I'm not ready to hang up my Mojo yet!! I tried Replens etc and they are just about ok but assumed I was stuck with this problem.
However, I saw my Onc for my 6 months post-treatment appointment and mentioned it to her. I was strongly ER+ but she said she had no hesitation in writing to my GP to ask him to prescribe oestrogen suppositories for me. Apparently after an oophorectomy and whilst taking Femara my oestrogen levels are pretty much zero - which is good, obviously, but that's what is causing the problem. She said that, although there is oestrogen in it there is the tiniest amount that is absorbed into the bloodstream (most of it remains topical) and you don't need to take many doses (2 or 3) for it to last up to 6 months. Any risk is purely theoretical, she has never heard of anyone developing a new or secondary BC because of it. She also said it is extremely successful and she has never heard of anyone saying it didn't work.
It is a balancing act to an extent, but in theory there is a tiny risk, and some women welcome the soreness etc as an excuse to dispense with the sexual aspect of their life. But I don't. I'm not ready to give up that side of me yet - I've lost so much through BC surely I can at least have a bit of loving now and then!!
Edited to say that this problem has been going on since I started chemo and my hormone levels dropped. I didn't care then, I felt so rough George Clooney might well have received a knock-back. However, I am now 6 months post-treatment, post-oophorectomy and into Femara. The problem is getting worse, not better. Time to take action.
Hello. I had this problem after chemo. I used Sylk which is really good and helped me get back to normal in a couple of months. Google it and you can get a free sample.
if your using condoms as contraception then olive oil is totally the wrong thing to use as oil based substances will cause them to deteriorate.... just use water based lubricants if your using condoms.
MY GP advised me not to bother with all the pessaries and creams. He recommends OLIVE OIL. Not tried it yet myself; but the SE of arimidex is creeping up on me so I'll give it a whirl when I need to.
Thanks for all your advice ladies, looking at the websites you recommended there doesn't seem to be anything appropriate, it looks like i need to discuss this with my GP.
Thanks for your help.
was going to suggest vagifem pessaries too... also might be worth speaking to your local family planning/sexual health clinic to see if they run a menopause clinic.... i worked in sexual health for years and we have always had meno clinics and we do see women who have chemo and hormone induced menopause symptoms.
apart from replense do you use any lubrication during sex? you can get some from sexual health clinic or buy it... ky jelly is probably the most well known but it is a bit more jelly like and some others like liquid silk are more water based.... if your using condoms avoid using oil based lubes as they can damage the condom.
also not sure if you have checked out the menopause matters website... it is for the general population but also widely used by health professionals too and is quite a good resource.
presuming your smears & STI screens are up to date as these can sometimes cause problems too.
i know easier said than done but if you worry about it then your body doesnt relax and it is more likely to be painful and it becomes a vicious circle which can be quite difficult to break.... try not to put any pressure on each other to actually have sex, try to do other things like sensual massage etc
feel free to pm me
I am 3 xneg so not hormone receptive but i was perscribed vagifem pessaries and they really did help . I have heard that because these pessaries are topical even hormone receptive ladies can use them.
I'm usually only an observer on these forums and always find them really helpful. So I'm in need of some advise. I was on Tamaxifen and have been changed to Femara in the last 6 months due the occurance of secondaries. As others have said in these forums since the hormone therapy started it like the plug that powers my sexual desire has been pulled. I have used Replans and it helped initially but now sex is becoming really painful. Has anyone experienced this? Any advise on things i can do to make it better?
Any tips would be great. I'm only 35 and miss sex. My husband is briiliant about it but i fell pretty crap about it, It's just not fair!