How does surviving breast cancer affect your sexual health?
After decades of activism, women are now able to talk about breast cancer openly with their families. But one aspect of breast cancer remains a mystery, which is what treatment options can be invoked to help maintain a healthy intimate life. If you're a survivor and you suffer from a form of vaginal pain, you are not alone. Over 40% of the 2.8 million women treated for breast cancer in 2016 will have vaginal pain that affects their intimate lives.
Dyspareunia, or painful intercourse, is a common problem for cancer survivors. When you disrupt female hormone production, you disrupt the vagina. Unfortunately, most cancer treatments do exactly that. The most common cancer treatments block estrogen's effects on the body to prevent recurrence, either by removing the ovaries, by blocking the effects of naturally produced estrogen, or by blocking the body's ability to produce estrogen. This can result in genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), which can make the vagina dry, shrink or tear—all of which cause pain during intercourse.
There are a variety of hormonal and non-hormonal options to treat dyspareunia, including estrogen creams, lubricants and vaginal dilator therapy. Two new treatments that Dr. Nancy Salisbury offers at Dr. NGYN are a laser therapy called Mona Lisa Touch, and a radiofrequency treatment called ThermiVa. Both tighten and increase sensation and moisture production in the vagina with three non-invasive sessions with no downtime.
If your dyspareunia is affecting your emotional health or relationship, there is no need to suffer in silence. Call Dr. Salisbury at 503-908-1646 today.
17020 Pilkington Road
Lake Oswego, OR 97035