Although you may think that there are many barriers to overcome, for the relationship and sexuality to be victorious after defeating this disease, it is possible to achieve it by working as a team with your doctors and your loved ones.
Many women today proudly count it!
In the month of breast cancer we are going to take off our mask! When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you imagine thousands of things and sexuality is not in the priorities. As you assimilate the situation, you understand what is happening in your body and the stages of treatment that you must follow to heal yourself, that is what is on your mind. Later, during the overcoming of this disease and when you begin to feel better, you return to consider sexuality as part of your life, but you can find yourself with a set of physical and psychological factors that, if not attended to in time, play against your sexual well-being and the stability of your relationship.
Breast cancer is a matter of interest to any woman because it is the most common cancer in women (between 20 and 49 years old), followed by thyroid cancer and skin cancer . It is important that you know that, in recent years, advances in treatment and early diagnosis mean that a large number of women live a long life after discovering it, and that is why we must worry about the quality with which let's live it
So let's talk about the effects that breast cancer treatment can have on your sexuality, and most importantly, that you know the actions to resolve it in a timely manner, without it becoming an obstacle on your path to recovery.
Discomfort in sexuality that comes with breast cancer:
Thanks to our experience with patients in the office and the stories we hear from all the women who are part of #TeamZenzsual, we allow ourselves to share some of the common manifestations and recommendations to positively cope with sexuality during the recovery process of the woman with breast cancer. Watch out!
- Mastectomy or removal of the breast : When undergoing a mastectomy, the biggest fear is to think: how am I going to feel without breasts? And how am I going to face my partner? In general, women think that they are going to completely lose their femininity and it is normal that at first you do not feel comfortable or that you feel rejection by the changes of the body, however it does not have to be like that. Today, you can consult with your surgeon about the possibilities of rebuilding immediately in a single surgery, which is likely in most cases. There are different options such as prosthesis placement, reconstruction with your own fat or with muscles from other parts of your body that are used to leave a quite acceptable shape. Think about this: not all the sensuality and beauty is in the perfection of the curves, the person who accompanies his partner in this type of process, generally sees beyond a scar.
Vaginal dryness, pain, and irritation: Hormonal changes resulting from chemotherapy cause thinning of the vagina and the skin of the vulva, manifesting as vaginal dryness, which affects daily life, and of course, causes pain during sexual intercourse and Difficulty reaching orgasm.
This point is one of the most important and crucial to be able to have a good intimate relationship, and luckily, it is one of the easiest to solve because just keeping the entire genital area hydrated, moisturized, including the internal part, is enough. to abolish or eliminate that great nuisance.
We recommend you use the water-based intimate gel daily , and we want you to pay attention to this, because otherwise, you may end up with unsuitable products that will cause more complications.
The Zenzsual intimate gel is water-based and contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid , which greatly benefits the hydration of your internal and external genitalia, and helps you hydrate the area, regenerate it, and make it more spongy, resistant, and moist. As a consequence, the sensation of dryness, burning or itching that can occur spontaneously or with sexual intercourse is relieved.
Your body can also feel dryness after radiotherapy , in this case we recommend:
- Use moisturizing creams and oils , preferably without perfume or color.
- Use sunscreen and do not expose yourself to the sun.
- Wear loose and light clothing.
- Use a mild soap (neutral or baby) that takes care of your skin.
- Do not scratch the skin that has been treated.
- Bathe with lukewarm water, hot water can dry you out more.
- Do not rub your skin when drying it.
- Don't wax.
- Fertility: Due to the consequences of chemotherapy, it is likely that the possibility of having children will be limited for a while or permanently, this varies greatly depending on age. Without a doubt , it is an important issue that you should discuss with your doctor and your partner, to evaluate together the best option for the future.
Calorones or “hot flashes”:
To combat them we recommend:
- Dress lightly , of course according to the occasion, and always think about the possibility of adding pieces that you can take off if these annoying vapors appear.
- Keep the environment of your house and car fresh .
- Avoid hot drinks , such as coffee or tea. He prefers the refreshing ones.
- Use a cool, damp towel on your neck and cheeks to soothe the heat.
- Don't smoke . Cigarettes make hot flashes worse, have terrible effects on your body, and even more so, in the face of a condition like the one you are facing.
- Insomnia : It is possible that your sleep rhythm is altered. You must be patient and sleep when your body asks for it, avoid stressing about moments of insomnia and prepare the environment to get the maximum rest possible, with low light, adequate temperature, without electrical appliances on. Try some guided meditations to relax, there are super good apps like CALM (available on the Apple Store and Google Play ).
Hair loss: With chemotherapy you can lose all your hair, however, it grows back once the treatment ends. While this is happening, you can wear a scarf, hat or wig, depending on your personal preferences. Remember, in the end it's just a stage and that time doesn't define who you are or how sensual you can be. It is important to have a positive attitude and not allow these changes to dominate your behavior and thinking.
Keep in mind that eyebrows and eyelashes also fall out, which you can put on makeup. It is not recommended to use false eyelashes, but you can use the eyeliner.
To treat hair loss it is recommended:
- Use a mild shampoo.
- Avoid products against hair loss.
- Wash your hair with lukewarm water, without rubbing hard when drying it.
- Avoid using the dryer and the iron when combing it.
- Do not use dyes or bleaches.
- Brush the hair gently.
- Protect your hair from the cold and the sun.
- Nails can change color with chemotherapy, so you can paint them to make them look even and neat.
Psychological and emotional factors:
We recommend that you seek the advice of a specialist psychologist and ask for someSexCoaching sessions with the Zenzsual team so that you can talk about how you feel in the field of your relationship and your sexuality. Help is always necessary so you don't feel overwhelmed and learn to live the process. Here are some key points that will serve as a reference:
- The experience of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is very stressful and can be the trigger for the break in relationships that are not solid or that already had problems before the disease. If this is your case, lean on a professional team to guide you in managing the emotionality of the moment.
- Tiredness, stress, deterioration of self-esteem, fear and uncertainty, can also decrease sexual desire and affect the couple's relationship. Try to reduce the burdens of the disease, let your loved ones help you, do not stress about the secondary thing that the goal is your health, love yourself a lot and let the situation flow, do not get paralyzed with worries and do what is available to you. your reach. Strengthen your spirit and your inner strength to overcome these barriers, following the guidance of your medical team, above all.
- Depression usually manifests itself through anxiety due to the sensation of closeness to death . Do not be a victim of the situation that can get out of hand. If you feel like your feelings are out of control, never hesitate to ask for help until you find it. There are side effects of the treatment that not only depend on your willpower, but must be attended to by a specialist and the corresponding medication to see the exit.
- Take your partner into account in the acceptance process , without blaming anyone, it is about trying to live the process focused on recovery. The lack of involvement of the man as the main support at this time can be a trigger for separation. We insist that communication is key so as not to misinterpret the possible reactions of each of the two at such an important moment in their lives.
Keep in mind that some men don't know how to handle this situation , feel left out of solving the problem, or don't know how to express their support. This prevents them from living a full sexuality in those circumstances and they prefer not to have sex. Everything is a matter of speaking putting yourself in the other's shoes to understand or simply respect their point of view, without judging and reaching an agreement.
In all these cases you must prevent, as a patient affected by breast cancer, from reaching a critical emotional state , which does not benefit your health and can collapse the relationship, causing a distance from the couple and leading to a breakup or divorce in such critical moments, where you may be needing more emotional support.
Overcome the sexual challenges that come with breast cancer
The other side of the coin shows us a world of possibilities to be doubly victorious physically and emotionally with our partners, who can become your best ally in difficult times. Here some tips!
The secret of success: communication with the couple . Without a doubt, it is the most important thing. You have to remember that going through breast cancer can also be difficult for your partner, who, like you, is surprised by the news and may feel frustrated at not being able to change the situation. Therefore, having good communication is beneficial for both of you.
Tactics to regain desire : Sexuality is something both physical and emotional and you should not feel pressured about it. To feel desire again, we recommend incorporating different elements that favor sensuality and facilitate the environment. Think about the music, the smells, the flavors, the massages and the caresses on demand, which are very important, and why not! You can include a relaxing bath for both of you, with no expectations beyond resting and connecting as a couple. Agree and try according to your preferences.
Pleasure beyond sex : It is important to be clear that intimacy can be experienced beyond sex. We can convey security and show that the relationship is based on other types of strengths and values, beyond the size of our breasts.
And if you don't have a stable partner...
It is normal to feel uncertainty, restlessness, or fear of rejection about a possible sexual relationship. In these cases, the most important thing is that you learn to recognize your value as a person and do not allow changes in your body to affect your self-esteem and security.
Despite all the changes in your body after breast cancer treatment , you should value yourself for who you are and not for what has happened to you, take some time and when you consider it appropriate, try to start relationships that are satisfying to you.
At Zenzsual we are at your service to help you travel your healing path in the best possible way.
Keep in mind that you can find us on our website: www.zenzsual.com and on social networks look for us as @zenzsual, where we have products, such as intimate gel and VagiYoga, that can help you in different stages of the process of overcoming breast cancer you are living. And always with the doors opento listen to you through our Sexcoaching sessions .