While some women experience positive changes to their sexual wellbeing or sexual relationship after breast cancer, for others breast cancer can have the opposite effect.
“I love my husband very much and our relationship is good but my physical body does not respond like it used to.” — Woman, 51 years.
Sexual wellbeing is a complex and personal issue. Some women may experience physical changes such as fatigue, hot flushes or weight gain, while other women experience emotional changes such as depression, or not feeling confident about their body. We know that for many women vaginal dryness can also be an issue due the effects of chemotherapy or hormonal therapies which can cause discomfort, especially during sex. Other women tell us that they often lack energy and desire for sex due to fatiguing treatments or changed hormone levels. Very often it’s a combination of many of these different issues.
“Tiredness, muscles and joints aching from Arimidex, fatigue, emotional exhaustion from coping with family and friends’ anxiety and being away from home for extended time have all contributed to my lack of interest in sex” — Woman, 58 years.
It’s important to know there are lots of things that you can try to help you manage the effects of breast cancer and its treatments on your sexual wellbeing.
For more information please visit the Breast Cancer Network Australia website or download a copy of the Breast Cancer and Sexual Wellbeing Booklet.