Fatigue or low libido affecting sex?

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Question from Towi-from-Norway: I have a high grade of cancer-related fatigue, and one of my biggest problems is to find a normal balance between rest and activity. Sex is one of the "activities" I struggle with. After a sex act, it feels like I need a week holiday. Is it the fatigue or only lower libido?
Answers - Su Kenderdine I would suspect that it's a combination of both. Certainly, when you have a lot of fatigue, if you limit the physical activity of the sex act by stimulating your husband with your hand for a long time before he's close to climax, then it takes less physical energy for you and him to come to pleasure. But it is a tremendously demanding and draining thing emotionally because you're sharing your energy—your soul energy, your sex energy—with another human being, and this is a time that you naturally need to conserve energy for yourself.

So I would work with some sexual toys, some ways to limit the physicalness of sex. It may be that you need to be the receiver of tenderness, caresses, massage, but not expend physically the intense drain of bringing yourself and someone else to climax.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Sleep or Sex? You Can Have Both! featured Carroll Kenderdine, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how to maintain sexual intimacy during and after treatment, what to do for loss of libido and vaginal dryness, ways to reduce the fatigue related to breast cancer, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2004.

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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