When suffering from ovarian cancer, your sexuality may have lost relevance. The good news is that you do not have to put aside this very enriching and pleasant facet of life, finding new ways to awaken desire and satisfaction. You can achieve it and here we explain it to you!
May 8 is the World Day to Fight Ovarian Cancer, and this date invites us to think that, in a health situation like this, we must always look for ways to overcome the challenges that come, with the right resources. that we have in the search for well-being. For this, it is important to inform ourselves about what happens in our body, to have the support of our loved ones and to listen to the advice of professionals and experts; addressing the situation with a comprehensive vision, which includes psychological and emotional care.
Let's start by remembering that the ovaries are glands that produce the ovules to achieve reproduction. Both ovaries are located on each side of the uterus and are the main source of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Eggs travel from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and into the uterus where one of them is fertilized and the fetus develops.
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. In the past, this cancer was thought to start only in the ovaries, but recent evidence indicates that it can also start in the fallopian tubes.
Keep in mind that the ovaries are mainly made up of three types of cells, and each of these can develop into a different type of tumor: epithelial tumors that originate from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary; germ cell tumors that arise in the cells that produce eggs; and stromal tumors, which arise in cells of the tissue that support the ovary and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
The truth is that these ovarian tumors can be benign (not cancer) and never spread outside the ovary or malignant (cancerous) that can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, and even cause death.
Ovarian cancer is silent. As there is no method of early detection, it is generally detected when it is advanced, which implies the use of radical treatments and chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
To this is added that the operation of this type of cancer includes the removal of the ovaries, immediately appearing menopause and the consequences due to the lack of hormones (such as atrophy of the vaginal mucosa and dryness).
In addition, we must not forget the fatigue, nausea, hair loss and other discomforts caused by treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
What happens to sexuality when ovarian cancer arrives?
It is to be expected that the symptoms generated by ovarian cancer and its treatment will severely alter the sexual life of the woman who suffers from it. Among the most common discomforts, the following stand out:
- loss of sexual desire
- vaginal dryness
- pain during penetration
- Loss of sensation in the genital area
- Inability to reach an orgasm
- Depression and anxiety about uncertainty, responsibilities, financial issues, or rejection in some couples who jump ship or lose interest because of the physical problems and worries that come with cancer.
What can you do to recover your sexuality or not lose it during the passage of ovarian cancer?
- Question without embarrassment: the first step is to ask the medical team about cancer and its effects on your sex life . Find out as much as you can. When you know what to expect, you can plan how you might handle such situations. Ask if she can prescribe hormonal vaginal creams, replacement hormones, medicated lubricants, and other medications that can help alleviate symptoms that prevent adequate sexual enjoyment.
- Open your mind to new ways of feeling pleasure. During and after cancer treatment, there may be times when the kind of sex you love best is not possible. It is the opportunity to learn new ways to give and receive sexual pleasure . It is important that both of you understand that sexuality does not always mean penile-vaginal intercourse and that penetration is not the only way to achieve an orgasm .
- Maximize the sense of touch: touching yourself sensually and/or sexually with your partner is something you can always do since your ability to feel pleasure through touch always remains. Few treatments damage the nerve endings and muscles involved in the sensation of pleasure from physical contact and in achieving an orgasm. For example, try self-examination by rubbing your breasts and genitals. Or just cuddling and cuddling can be pleasurable.
- Activate your sexual brain: reconnect your erotic thoughts. You can start by reading erotic literature , watching sensual movies or thinking more about those moments of pleasure from the past that make you relive the desire.
- Resort to self-exploration: you can start by going through the erogenous zones of your body until you get to stimulate your clitoris to achieve an orgasm. You can directly massage your clitoris with your fingers or with the use of a sex toy, alone or with your partner. Always using a quality intimate gel with high concentrations of hyaluronic acid such as Zenzsual, which helps you hydrate weakened tissue and avoid painful irritation.
- Encourage clear and reciprocal conversations with your partner. Tell him what the doctor told you about the new stage that you will live. Talk openly about lack of desire and difficulty reaching an orgasm. Tell him if you feel tired or weak, or if you want him to be more active in touching you. Guide him if any part of your body is very sensitive or sore.
Ask for what you want with affection and express to him what you would like to experience to revive desire and sexuality. That's the key to adjusting to your new sexual routine when you experience changes in your body due to cancer.
- Strengthen your self-esteem. Remember your virtues. If your hair starts to fall out, opt for a wig if you feel more comfortable, a hat, or a bandana. Eat right and get as much exercise as you're allowed to stay strong and energized.
- Look for alternatives for future motherhood: if you want to be a mother and you are of reproductive age, you can preserve your eggs to have children later, since the radical operation for ovarian cancer involves a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), you will need another woman (surrogate mother) who carries the pregnancy after receiving artificial insemination with an embryo prepared with her own eggs.
- Consult the psycho-oncologist and therapists who can help you . Practice relaxation techniques and seek professional help if you are anxious, depressed, or having difficulties. At #TuSaludIntima we offer SexCoaching sessions where we can guide you on the path to recovering your sexuality after ovarian cancer, thanks to the team of specialists who will address your case comprehensively, with whom you can discuss your concerns about sexuality in this stage of life and receive some effective advice.
Surely, with a positive attitude, adequate support from your loved ones, your partner, and professional care, you will be able to rediscover your sexuality, overcoming ovarian cancer.
For our part, we will continue to share all the resources that are useful to take care of your sexuality and your feminine health even in difficult times. In our online store tusaludintima.com you can also purchase the Zenzsual Intimate Gel, to use daily and overcome the symptoms of vaginal dryness that appears during and after treatment.
Like every week, we invite you to read more articles like this on our Zenzsual Blog , where we always share health and sexuality tips for your well-being. Follow us on our social networks @tusaludintima @doctoraklarasenior and @tu_ginecologa and share with us the comments, doubts or concerns that you want to address in this way.