- Question from Cara: My husband says he's still attracted to me and wants to make love, but I'm so emotionally and physically wiped out by all this that I just don't have the desire. What should I do?
- Answers - Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. It may take a while for you to regain your normal desire for sex. Think of all the reasons that breast cancer treatment can interfere with desires. You may be mildly depressed. You may be fatigued, especially if you are going through chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You have to get used to coping with the breast cancer and with changes in your body. You may be taking medications that interfere with desire, such as pain medicine, anti-nausea medicine, or anti-depressants. All of these things can affect your desire for a while.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. Many women stop having sex upon their diagnosis and may even go on without it through treatment, so sex may have left your intimate life for a significant period of time. Trying to bring it back into your life with your partner involves a transition. You may have to get used to it again before you can enjoy it again.
- Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. Sometimes it helps to start small. Try kissing and cuddling on the couch without trying to go to bed afterwards. Or try giving each other back rubs to see if you can get into a more sensual mood.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Intimacy and Sexuality featured Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer diagnosis and treatment affect your sex life.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2001.
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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