Foxnews

How breast cancer can make your sex life better

Nothing is scarier than hearing the news
that your partner has breast cancer. My
husband Sam had to hear this news in
2011 when I told him I had precancerous
cells in my left breast.
ADVERTISEMENT
Understandably, he was scared,
concerned, and overwhelmed. However,
he was also completely supportive, even
going so far as to shave his head along
with my sons when I lost my hair due to
chemotherapy.
Thankfully, my treatment was successful
and I was able to return my life as I knew
it—except even better, because cancer
made me more grateful, more present,
and more attune with the world around
me and the life I wanted for myself.
However, many women and their partners
find that they struggle to return to their
sex lives after cancer. Sometimes they
even feel guilty having an interest in
sexual activity considering all the life-
and-death stuff they are going through.
Yet our desire for intimacy and sexual
pleasure does not always fade just
because illness rears its ugly head. In
fact, sexual intimacy can help provide
solace, comfort, and even pain relief
during difficult times.
Here is how you can help safeguard you
and your partner can safeguard your sex
life during her breast cancer treatment:
Consider her energy levels. When does
your partner feel the best? Cancer
treatment can make people
notoriously exhausted as well as
nauseated, but there might be certain
times of day when she feels better
than others. Don’t postpone sexual
activity until the nighttime if she
seems the most relaxed and
comfortable in the morning. Have sex
when she feels most desirable, which
might not necessarily be when the sun
sets.
Be aware of her changing body.
Cancer treatment can also cause her
to be less lubricated. Take this into
account and allow for plenty of
foreplay. Use lubrication and have her
talk to her doctor if sex continues to
be uncomfortable, because they are
prescription lubricants which can be
invaluable.
Don’t think of sex as the destination.
Intimacy doesn’t have be about
reaching an end goal. Instead, just be
present and enjoy one another’s
bodies. Enjoy the sensation and
sensuality of touching one another,
kissing one another, and massaging
one another, even if it doesn’t lead to
intercourse.
Understand that her self-esteem might
take a hit. She might struggle to feel
in the mood because her self-esteem
could be impacted by her treatment.
Losing her hair and possibly one or
both of her breasts can be very scary,
even if her mastectomy makes her
look whole and healed to you. On the
inside, she might still be struggling
with accepting her new body, so be
patient and extra-loving to her during
this time. Let her know that her scars
make her even more beautiful and that
you are even more aroused by her
now that you see how strong and
powerful she really is.
Lastly, remember that is okay if you
have some hesitation around sexual
activity yourself. It can be hard to
jump right into sexual activity with
your partner after seeing her so
vulnerable and after everything her
body has had to go through. However,
rest assured, if your doctor gives her a
green light for sexual activity, it is safe
and okay for you to enjoy one another
sexually once again. Take things slow:
If intercourse seems overwhelming,
then stick to massages, warm baths,
or even just making out. Just keep
your affection and intimacy alive: It
can help you both to decrease stress
and feel connected and whole.

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Foxnews

How breast cancer can make your sex life better

Nothing is scarier than hearing the news
that your partner has breast cancer. My
husband Sam had to hear this news in
2011 when I told him I had precancerous
cells in my left breast.
ADVERTISEMENT
Understandably, he was scared,
concerned, and overwhelmed. However,
he was also completely supportive, even
going so far as to shave his head along
with my sons when I lost my hair due to
chemotherapy.
Thankfully, my treatment was successful
and I was able to return my life as I knew
it—except even better, because cancer
made me more grateful, more present,
and more attune with the world around
me and the life I wanted for myself.
However, many women and their partners
find that they struggle to return to their
sex lives after cancer. Sometimes they
even feel guilty having an interest in
sexual activity considering all the life-
and-death stuff they are going through.
Yet our desire for intimacy and sexual
pleasure does not always fade just
because illness rears its ugly head. In
fact, sexual intimacy can help provide
solace, comfort, and even pain relief
during difficult times.
Here is how you can help safeguard you
and your partner can safeguard your sex
life during her breast cancer treatment:
Consider her energy levels. When does
your partner feel the best? Cancer
treatment can make people
notoriously exhausted as well as
nauseated, but there might be certain
times of day when she feels better
than others. Don’t postpone sexual
activity until the nighttime if she
seems the most relaxed and
comfortable in the morning. Have sex
when she feels most desirable, which
might not necessarily be when the sun
sets.
Be aware of her changing body.
Cancer treatment can also cause her
to be less lubricated. Take this into
account and allow for plenty of
foreplay. Use lubrication and have her
talk to her doctor if sex continues to
be uncomfortable, because they are
prescription lubricants which can be
invaluable.
Don’t think of sex as the destination.
Intimacy doesn’t have be about
reaching an end goal. Instead, just be
present and enjoy one another’s
bodies. Enjoy the sensation and
sensuality of touching one another,
kissing one another, and massaging
one another, even if it doesn’t lead to
intercourse.
Understand that her self-esteem might
take a hit. She might struggle to feel
in the mood because her self-esteem
could be impacted by her treatment.
Losing her hair and possibly one or
both of her breasts can be very scary,
even if her mastectomy makes her
look whole and healed to you. On the
inside, she might still be struggling
with accepting her new body, so be
patient and extra-loving to her during
this time. Let her know that her scars
make her even more beautiful and that
you are even more aroused by her
now that you see how strong and
powerful she really is.
Lastly, remember that is okay if you
have some hesitation around sexual
activity yourself. It can be hard to
jump right into sexual activity with
your partner after seeing her so
vulnerable and after everything her
body has had to go through. However,
rest assured, if your doctor gives her a
green light for sexual activity, it is safe
and okay for you to enjoy one another
sexually once again. Take things slow:
If intercourse seems overwhelming,
then stick to massages, warm baths,
or even just making out. Just keep
your affection and intimacy alive: It
can help you both to decrease stress
and feel connected and whole.

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