- Question from Erika: I'm taking Femara and have severe problems with vaginal dryness. I have tried various lubricants but have been unsuccessful. Any advice would be appreciated.
- Answers - Kara Nakisbendi I think it's a good time to experiment with different products for lubricant. Some people use almond oil, coconut oil, or Crisco [oil] if you're not worried about condoms. There are many items you can try. Open communication is the most important so you don't feel that you're trying to hide the symptoms you have or handle them all on your own.
- Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. I think it's crucial, and I wish all women had easy access to a gynecologist as knowledgeable and sympathetic as Dr. Nakisbendi. Women often have a hard time getting their gynecologist or oncologist really to pay attention to the problems that they're having in this area.
- Kara Nakisbendi Another important point is that a lot of times having pain or discomfort or not having the pleasure can lead to avoidance. And that brings on a whole host of other problems, one of which is worsening of vaginal atrophy, or thinning of the vaginal tissue. From there, intercourse can be more painful. Sometimes, in addition to lubricants, the use of vaginal dilators can help a woman understand her anatomy and become comfortable with penetration again in a controlled, safe way.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Sex, Intimacy, and Breast Cancer featured Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. and Kara Nakisbendi, M.D.answering your questions about sexual side effects of breast cancer and breast cancer treatment, and what you can do about them.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 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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