- Question from Calla: I know this is about fertility, but it is so difficult to think about having sex when I've lost my interest. We want to get pregnant now for fear my cancer may return, but I can't seem to get any interest in being intimate. I'm only 36 and feel terrible about this.
- Answers - Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. Many women find that their desire for sex decreases after their breast cancer treatment and there are many different reasons why that could be so. Sometimes there are hormone changes, but if you are having regular menstrual cycles, that's unlikely. Many women have low energy for months after chemotherapy and radiation, and may also have a mild depression. These problems can interfere with your desire for sex. Also, if you're taking any medicines, especially for depression, anxiety, or pain, talk to your doctor about whether those medications could be interfering with your desire for sex. If so, perhaps the dose or type of medicine could be changed. It takes an effort to begin to feel sexual again, so you may want to see a counselor who is familiar with these problems to give you some suggestions. Sometimes, it helps to watch a sexy movie, read a sexy book, take extra time in your foreplay, and do things to feel good about your body. Take a bubble bath, go dancing, things that perhaps used to put you in the mood for sex.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Fertility and Pregnancy featured Kutluk Oktay, M.D. and Leslie Schover, Ph.D. answering your questions about breast cancer treatments that can affect your fertility, options for preserving your fertility, being treated for breast cancer while pregnant, and more.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2008.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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