Breast Cancer and Sex

Breast Cancer and Sexuality

Intimacy and sexuality are a basic human need. While talking about it can be difficult for some, nobody should feel shame or awkwardness when expressing desires or addressing sexual problems.

Recent studies have shown that the vast majority of men and a clear majority of women consider an active sex life a vital part of a happy life and relationship. However, there are a number of factors that can prevent good sex, or, more scientifically, can cause sexual dysfunction: There can be biological/physical, psychological and situational reasons why there’s no action in the bedroom, starting with depression, pain, dryness, negative past sexual experience, the state of the relationship, emotional challenges, worries, and distracting thoughts.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Sex

Now when it comes to breast cancer, starting on the day of diagnosis, women and men are put in a position that is about as far away from sexual interest and desire as you can get. The bad news causes stress. Very often breast cancer patients also experience depression—a major symptom of which is a loss of sexual interest. Taking anti-depressants, while potentially beneficial overall, can in itself decrease libido. And of course there’s fear and anxiety: What will the future look like? How is my partner feeling about all this?

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