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Intimacy Post-Cervical Cancer

mddiaz85
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2015

Hi Everyone, 

I was diagnosed with Cervical cancer Stage 1B1 at the age of 27. I have been 2.5 years in remission/cancer free.  I had radical hysteractomy (everything remove) I had 4 cycles of chemo and 25 external radiation session and 3 bachytherapy. My doctors decided to follow these steps since I was young and wanted to make sure that the chances of cancer coming back were slim. I also have a daughter who is now 5 year old. I was bless enough to have had a child before all this happened. However, as I am feeling great and all (like nothing happened and this was all a nightmare) I still have issues with itimacy. I used to be a very sexual person and love sex with my husband. But after all of this, my libido went down and we have to use alot of products to make sure that my lady is not dry. Before all of this happened, I could want to have sex everyday. Now, I can barely care. I feel like i do not need it anymore. It is also harder for me to have orgasms now than it was back then. 

I still have sex because I have a husband and I want to maintain my "wifey" duties. My husband is very very understanding. and We try to have sex at least once a week if not twice. But one more thing to add is that when we do have sex I do not enjoy it. It is REALLY painfull especially at the entrance of my vagina. We use alot of products but it doesnt seem to get any better. I read that things will get back to normal but after 2 Years off the treatments... I am starting to believe that I will never have my internal sexy back! That It will never feel good. 

It hurts so much that even when he releases himself, his sperm burns my inside. If we go for more than 2 weeks without having sex, it can sometimes tear and make me spot a little bit.

The doctors said that because the scarring tissues is sensitive from radiation and there are tiny blood vessels that may rip. But everything looks good down there... its basically caused by the radiation and especially by the brachytherapy.

One of my doctors (surgeon and chemo doctor) was against me doing the brachy only because i was so young and I needed to have a normal sex life with my husband. Where as of my other doctor (radiation) said that it will be fine. Its better to be safe than sorry. (Mind you if I didn't take the brachy therapy the chances of reccurence were 5% and if I did take the brachy the chances of reoccurence were 3%). 

All this story to express how annoyed I am with this abnormal sex life and I may look fine on the outside but my insides when we have sex...reminds me of what I had! 

Can someone please tell me they are experiencing the same thing and what approaches they are taking to make it better?

 

Thank you

 

Dee

Toast
Posts: 46
Joined: May 2010

I didn't have the exact circumstances, but I experienced intimacy issues and pain from surgery.  I got a lidocaine prescription from my doctor that I use daily and it helps break the pain cycle at the entrance of the vagina.  I have scar tissue that is easily irritated and I tear easily.  I've tried a lot of different lubricants and have better luck with the silicone ones.  Trial and error, different positions, humor and tears.  It's a journey.  Praying for you kiddo! :)

mddiaz85
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2015

Lidocaine? Does this not burn and then numb you when instered there? i will ask for my next visit... 

I took lidocaine for mouth sores before as I had coxsackie (hand foot and mouth disease)

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2613
Joined: Mar 2013

Yes, what we DON'T know going in to the "below the belt" cancers....

I would recommend checking out:

https://www.inspire.com/groups/national-cervical-cancer-coalition

You have to create a sign-in, just like here, but if you go under Discussions, then Topics, they have an entire thread on Sexuality after cancer

I think it is pretty good!

mddiaz85
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2015

Thank you for this.

I will def. sign up! 

katenraj's picture
katenraj
Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2012

Dear Dee

 

I totally get you and know what you are going through. I had radiaion directly onto my vulva and vagina for vaginal cancer, stage 2, 3 years ago. I am now 51 and am still "living" with the radiation side effects. i had chemo also but seem to be ok after that (even thougth that was beyond words horrible too) BUT I am cancer free and So happy to be alive. I am a mom to my two sweet boys, ages 16 and 14. My husband is wonderful but I know it is hard on him.

I am perfectly fine having sex once a week but I know my husband likes it more. He loves me and wants to be close to me. But I would perfer to scrub the floor than have sex. Yet it does hurt when he comes inside me at the entrance to the vagina!!! I have tried therapy to help me "relax" rather than tense up. This only helps so much but worth a shot. I use an organic lubricant that I order from England called YES (Yes.com) and I like the little individual water based lubricant that has the applicator. It seems to deliver the lubricant higher up so this helps when my husband enters me. 

 

Yes it does burn afterwords too!!! I so understand you. I went to a vulva MD specialist here in Phoenix and he recommended takign a daily bath (and after sex) with a salt you purchase in the Aquarium section of the Pet store!! Yes you read correct...I put one cup in my bath daily and relax(read etc) and pat myself off aterwords. Do not rub too hard and this will break the paper tissue we have down there post radiation. I then apply Aquaphor EVERY DAY. We need to keep the area oiled and not dry. I do not wear thong underwear anymore. I try to keep the underwear as close to cotton as possible. I like Soma underwear as they feel very comfortable and yet, pretty and cute. 

I also take a nerve pain pill called Lyrica for radiation neuritis....this is what we have. It is itchy, numb and sore all at the same time. So weird. The Lyrica takes the edge off the nerves down there. I stay on a lower dose and have no side effects except that I sleep really really well Which is a good thing. I was trying not to resort to medications but I have been though so much that I feel I need this help. Amitryptaline may help with the radiation neuritis also. 

I hope I have helped you. I totally feel for you and I do not feel so alone knowing you have this issue too. My email is katenraj@cox.net if you need to get in touch with me. I do not always check this website but I love the ladies on here. May God Bless all of you and remember, life is a gift. Live it one day at a time and love hard. 

 

Kathleen in Phoenix

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