• Side Effects - Sexual side effects Ok, I am bringing the perverbial elephant into the room......

    Asked by Alyce on Friday, July 27, 2012

    Side Effects - Sexual side effects

    Ok, I am bringing the perverbial elephant into the room......

    Triple positive tumor, for chemo get IV's for Carboplatin, Taxotere and Herceptin. ONE more chemo, then surgery, radiation, then Herceptin, through IV continues till April 2013.
    Any one have pain issues during sex? If my husband makes one more crack about not gettin' any, I think I'm going to crack him! <;)

    Also 1st chemo, I was back on my feet after the 4th day. Last chemo (5th treatment), took me a week and a half......is this about normal?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar

      Yeah, this is a tough one. I am single so I don't have anyone bugging me but the side effects of my treatments put me in menopause at the age of 37. So, as much as I would love to date and be intimate, I don't always have the desire and worse, everything doesn't work like it used to! My GYN told me to wait 6 months after everything was done before thinking about treating the menopause in hopes that perhaps some function would come back. I believe my ovaries were fried with radiation. I'm not sure how I am going to move forward and it's difficult to talk about.

      I always think there are other ways to be intimate or at least good ways to warm up to it. How about if your husband made you a romantic meal and took care of everything and perhaps provided you with a massage. They less fatigued you are and the less effort you have to put into things makes it easier for you to have energy for other things that he wants.

      As far as recovery from chemo, as the treatments go on, for me, the fatigue got worse and worse. I pushed through and worked through all of my treatments but I needed more and more naps after work and I was able to have less of a social life.

      about 4 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      I had cervical cancer. So I deal with vaginal shrinkage. My husband is not happy about it. Neither one of us looks forward to being intimate since it hurts me and it has turned to work. Lots of patience is needed.

      about 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, I am a nurse that specializes in oncology/end of life care and specifically gyne cancers, so I hear this complaint a lot. Have you tried a vaginal dialator. The best one is from a company called Cool Water Cones at coolwatercones.com. I think this will help you greatly, good luck.

      about 4 years ago
    • Mollie's Avatar

      Age may have a lot to do with it. My 78 year old grandma takes 2 1/2 weeks to recoup then 3rd week goes for another round so...I think the younger you are the faster recoup but the 2nd and 3rd rounds have respectively been worse.

      about 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Yes to your last question. Chemo is really working harder and longer by the 5th treatment... I know I got very tired and did a lot of sleeping.. Alyce, we're all different but I'm sure they're checking your blood. Do you remember the ads that used to be on TV... 'I'M READY TO FIGHT"....? It;s a shot.. Neulasta, and it really got me up and at it again much more rapidly. They give it to you 24 hours after your last infusion of each cycle... It's worth looking into!

      As to Sexual Side Effects.... I've never had any pain during sex after being diagnosed with cancer. AND I still get my XXX... ( I not only bring the elephant into the room... I dance with him))... Sorry... But my sex life is no different than it ever was. HOWEVER. Tell your beloved that you're sick of hearing that crack... AND explain why... You've been through one XXX of a lot in the last few months... and you have a long way to go. Tell him a Gentleman recognizes this and lets his wife take the lead. I know I was very scared to the first time after surgery, thinking it would be different, strange, painful... It was non of those... Bells still rang and toes still curl.

      about 4 years ago
    • judalou's Avatar

      The more chemo , the more side effects..longer to feel better every time...And "Neulasta" (given to stimulate bone marrow) was very painful for me but necessary to prevent secondary infections. It seems to be a case of "everyone" can respond differently to this.

      about 4 years ago
    • Kanary's Avatar

      I am 3 years out and still have some pain and bleeding during sex. Teh doctor says it is from scar tissue from internal radaition..It is very important to use the dialator that they give you faithfully every day..I didn't.. I was actually ok after most of my chemo treatments..guessit was all the steriods they pumped in me...It was the day after shot that hurt like heck!

      about 4 years ago
    • GetMyLifeBack's Avatar

      Treatment threw me into menopause too and on the two occassions I had sex, both times it was painful, not to mention working around vaginal dryness. I did not have to do chemotherapy so I don't know how much worse it gets with chemotherapy. I don't blame you for wanting to smack him!

      about 4 years ago
    • MaryannS's Avatar

      I have this problem as well. July 31, 2008 was my last chemo. I am on femara for 5 years. My last dose of femara will be August of 2013. I also have problems when I go to the gynecologist. I have pain then too. I was already in menopause. The femara blocks any hormones my body may have had. The cancer needs hormones to survive. The femara stops it, so any cancer cells that may have been in my body, would die. Thus causing vaginal dryness, which causes the pain.

      I am very fortunate my husband my husband has been very understanding. My gynecologist had told me when I am off the femara, she can prescribe a vaginal hormone cream. This should help with the dryness, which will help with the pain. She told me the doctors at Sloan Kettering are prescribing for their patients. I just have to talk to my oncologist about it..
      In regards to getting on my feet after chemo, I didnt do bad, I worked the first part of my chemo, Then the 2nd half I went on disability.
      I hope I helped you. Feel free to ask away if I can be of help to you.

      about 4 years ago
    • spdsgrl's Avatar

      I have lots of pain. Do not try any gels that " heat up" or intensify. They are 1000x worse. Literally ran out of room. You and your husband have to keep a sense of humor. I am 8 months into treat ent for colorectal cancer and still not easier yet. Hang in there it is normal and you will get through it!

      about 4 years ago
    • Jeepinbob's Avatar

      No offense but your husband sounds like a jerk! My wife is fighting cervical cancer and we have tried twice in the last 6 months. Both times were not full on as she was not comfortable. I am going to get a little graphic so it you don't want to read on, stop now. She was using a dilator up to the first time we tried. I was able to get in most of the way, but we didn't go long as it was hurting her. We stopped using the dilator. BIG mistake. a few weeks, month or so later we started using it again and it was MUCH more difficult. About a month ago, I tried again, but this time with LOTS of foreplay. The idea being to get her comfortable and in the mood. I was able to get her comfortable and even use a finger. My finger is smaller than the dilator. I only got my XXX in about an inch before she looked like it was hurting . I continued working with this inch for a little while watching her to see if I could go further. Never really got much further. But I did think it successful since she did produce her own lubricant (we use a water based lube when using the dilator) and she was able to become aroused. It looks like we have a long road, but we try to do the dilator every day, (Probably get 5 - 6 times in most weeks). I so miss the sex, but try not to initiate too often as she feels worse after because she feels like she is broken and less than a woman and not a good wife. All of which I tell her is NOT true.

      Good luck with your battle!

      about 4 years ago
    • debsweb18's Avatar

      Alyce, I would also talk to you doctor and see what might help for pain during sex. I'm sure you're exhausted and it's not the first thing on your mind now! So I'm sure you're feeling pretty normal! I was post menopausal by diagnosis, so I was pretty dry already. Nothing that lube couldn't help with and I was using an estrogen cream. Now I can't use the estrogen cream and I'm as dry as the Sahara! I didn't have chemo, but I'm taking Arimidex. My husband has not pressured me at all, so no problem there. Just lube, lube , lube. Anyone have luck with any particular kind?

      about 4 years ago
    • LadyM's Avatar

      I had ZERO sex drive and it did become and still is an issue. I was put in a chemical menopause so sex was as interesting as War and Peace. It takes time to get your "groove" back. Talk, use therapy (is possible) and try other ways to be intimate. It is an elephant in the room, thank you for bringing it up - every bit of information is helpful :)

      about 4 years ago
    • nancy123's Avatar

      I went through the same chemo as you and I was told if you do have sex to have husband or significant other wear a condom because you can transfer the chemo to him. My boyfriend was working out of town through most of my chemo and was very supportive that I had no desire for sex during chemo. The good news, I finished chemo in January and then went through radiation and we now have a very active sex life. So the desire does return, at least it has for me.

      about 4 years ago

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