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Scared to death to have sex

cap630
Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2011

I'm able to use the medium dilator daily, but still scared to have sex. My husband has been very patient and proud he is medically a large (me not so much). I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready. Have been out of treatment since the end of August. Anyone else have this issue? Is it just in my head?

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 509
Joined: Jun 2011

Yes, I have this issue too and no, it's not all in your head (or maybe it is, but that is so understandable). You're afraid and I don't blame you one bit. Your body has been through a lot. If you and your husband are happy with things as they are, why not let it be. If not, why not give it a try and see what happens? Sex isn't everything - yeah, it's nice - but it's not everything. Being close and loving each other is so much more important. There's no normal in any relationship - whatever works for the both of you is what's important.

Phoebesnow
Posts: 451
Joined: Apr 2011

Start off slow, use lots of lubricant, u will gain confidence as you go along. At 9 months out that's when we started to try, took several times before we got it right. Don't get too rough. I think u r using the estrogen cream. That really helps to open u up. at least he will know u r trying and I think u will find yourself losing the fear little by little. Good luck!

chaybay56's picture
chaybay56
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2012

It is still painful for me as well and I am 2.5 post treatment. What compounds the situation is that the lubricants (I've tried them all) irritate my vagina during sex and for days after causing me to have painful urination. Lucky for me that my husband has been patient and I have also endured...

cap630
Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2011

I have taken the step. Not enjoyable, but moving forward. Thank you for your support.

Phoebesnow
Posts: 451
Joined: Apr 2011

Congratulations on taking that huge step. I am smiling from ear to ear. Each hurdle we overcome in this journey is honestly, just so joyful. Really gives meaning to the phrase,"stop to smell the roses". I am going to go do that right now. My dog and I are going to the beach in Santa Monica to walk. We are having lovely weather here in sc.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

I would like to say that it felt good faster than it did! It really took some time, and truthfully still is not what it used to be. But I remember the first time I thought "wow that felt good" instead of so tense and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, one more thing we have to wait for!!

Wish you all the best!

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm one year post treatment and finally, after much 'practice' and working through some discomfort, sex is enjoyable. I know it won't be as 'intense' or as good for me as it was before treatment simply because treatment sent me into early menopause and I have really mourned that loss. But it has gone from 'uh, you wanna do what with that thing?' to 'stop! that hurts like hell' to 'okay, well I might be able to get through this' to 'okay, this isn't so bad' to 'wow, I can do this' to 'come on baby, let's get naked.'

:)

Don't give up!

cap630
Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2011

I have be seeing a special gyn and things are moving in the right direction. Thank you for all your encouragment.

shirlann54
Posts: 161
Joined: Aug 2011

I have been out of treatments for a year.We took it very slow .Because it was so painful for me .But it got better and better.Not like it was before treatments . Its not hurting any more as long as i use my premarin cream.One time i went about a week and didnt use the cream and it started hurting again so i use it 3 times a week.,Good luck .

valerieu
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2012

What is a dilator? Im curious. I also am scared to have sex. I finished treatment January 13 and my vagina feels like it shrunk. My boyfriend and I have tried and it just hurts. It hurts inside too like I am still burnt. Worse yet I have no desire and nothing arouses me. I think my nerve ending are burnt off. I don't feel like Im ever going to be interested in sex again and although my boyfriend has been very patient it is taking its toll on our relationship. Im also wondering if anyone else is experience severe depression after finishing treatment. My cancer, they believe, is gone. Getting scans March 8th. I should be thrilled but Im so depressed.

valerieu
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2012

What is a dilator? Im curious. I also am scared to have sex. I finished treatment January 13 and my vagina feels like it shrunk. My boyfriend and I have tried and it just hurts. It hurts inside too like I am still burnt. Worse yet I have no desire and nothing arouses me. I think my nerve ending are burnt off. I don't feel like Im ever going to be interested in sex again and although my boyfriend has been very patient it is taking its toll on our relationship. Im also wondering if anyone else is experience severe depression after finishing treatment. My cancer, they believe, is gone. Getting scans March 8th. I should be thrilled but Im so depressed.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3068
Joined: Jan 2010

A dilator is a device that is inserted into the vagina with lubricant to open up the vaginal canal. As you are finding out, vaginal stenosis is a side effect of the radiation treatment, causing the vagina to shrink in both diameter and length. Using a vaginal dilator daily can help to stretch the vagina, thus making sex more comfortable. Check out the following website: http://www.vaginismus.com/. This is where I purchased a set of dilators in graduated sizes. I use mine almost daily in the shower (so as not to forget!). The other thing that has helped me is the use of a vaginal tablet called Vagifem, which my gynecologist prescribed. There are also creams that can be used, but I found them rather gloppy and messy. Replense and KY Liquid Beads are OTC products that you might also try. Anything to help keep the vaginal tissue moist and pliable. Sex may never be the same for you, that's the cruel reality here, but it is possible with the right kind of attention to that part of your anatomy. I would suggest setting up an appt. with your gynecologist, or even a gyno-oncologist if possible, who can understand the permanent issues that can result from treatment and offer some help. I wish you all the best with your upcoming scans.

cap630
Posts: 150
Joined: Jul 2011

As Martha suggests - purchase a set of dilators from vaginismus.com. I have found a lubricant named Astroglide (gel) that is less gooey then K-Y. I have conquered the fear - now I'm working with the gynocologist to help with the discomfort. Moving in the right direction... Wishing you the best ~Carol

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3068
Joined: Jan 2010

That is also the lubricant that I use. KY, for some reason, causes irritation for me.

mohoper's picture
mohoper
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2012

Okay, I thought it was "just me" having issues with sex etc. Lubricant leaves me irritated too. And a dialator... is that something a doctor prescribes? My husband is wonderful ~ if you've seen the movie Courageous, well, he could be a model for that movie & has been for 18 years; I feel so blessed. We are having "problems" regarding sex, & are just kind of working around it. Physical intimacy is important, but there is so much more too... Thank you!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3068
Joined: Jan 2010

You don't need a physician to prescribe a dilator. I bought mine online from a company called Vaginismus. I bought a set of 4 that come in graduated sizes so you can begin with the smallest and work your way up. Check out their website. As I said above, I have the best results with Astroglide and don't find it irritating.

mohoper's picture
mohoper
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks ~ I looked at the website; did you get the whole kit or just the set? I'm going to order this week!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3068
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm not sure what they called what I ordered, but all I have are the 4 different sized dilators and the handle that fits into the bottom of them. They came in a little bag with some sample lubricant. I think that's all that came with them.

ppaseka's picture
ppaseka
Posts: 67
Joined: Oct 2011

My 43 year old wife has had a partial vulvectomy and 28 radiation treatments to the pelvis. We purchased a set of Dr. Berman's dilators and a silicon vibratory lube from Adam and Eve. They come in a set of four graduated sizes from small to large. The lube dose not irriatate her like KY would. We used the medium sized dilator our onc gave use, but she didnt like the feel of it. The set we purchased vabrates which she says really helps with the relaxation of the vagina. She is 6 weeks post radiaiton and she still has a little discomfort right at first penetration but it stops immediatly. She was so glad that she had "feelings" in that area after radiation as were where told that what surgery didnt take, radiation probably would. They have been wrong so far. We use lots of lube, patience and caring to accomplish this.

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

I have to use a silicone type lubricant - it lasts longer is more slick - probably similar to Astroglide. I still have painful urination after sex and I find my skin there is thinner and tends to bleed some. Sex is still difficult for us but we try anyway!

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