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Quilter_1's picture
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2019

Years before cancer, UPSC, I had a lot of vaginal stenosis making sex painful, and, as a result infrequent.  My husband and I tried many things available to us through the pharmacy and by prescription through my ob/gyn, all without much success.   Now, 3 years from my dx, and, after 6 rounds of carbo/taxol, 32 rounds of IMRT, 6 rounds of brachytherapy and weekly use of the smallest size dilator, I would like to return to having intimacy through sex with my husband.  Is there anyone out there that has any success in returning to sex after this long of an absence from it.  My husband is such a good man, he is so thankful that we have made it this far, he would never pressure me.  But, I feel like we are missing out on this special intimacy.  He never complains,  should I just count my blesspings and be thankful for my health?  I know my first step should be to talk to my onc/gyno, I plan to do that when I see him in December.  He has never asked me about sex issues.  I know you all have seen and heard it all before on these boards, so, I could think of no better place than this to voice my problem.  This 70 year old granny is enjoying her second chance at life and, if possible, would like to add a bit of romance to it.  If not, that's ok, too, because I already have so much to be thankful for.



TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015


Get some lidocaine! And give it about 5 or so minutes to work. Make sure you also use a lubricant and then take it slow to start.

Good luck! I hope you find this will work for you. Feel free to PM me if you have questions.

Love and Hugs,


Quilter_1's picture
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks Cindi.  I knew there was someone here who would have good advice.  It's a delicate subject that makes some people uncomfortable to discuss, but, with all that we have been through, there's not much left to the imagination any longer.

Harmanygroves's picture
Posts: 232
Joined: Jun 2021

Quilter - 

I think if you can handle it, and it makes your husband happy, it's a great idea! I am feeling about as sexy as a potato, but I'm married to a very romantic fellow, so I must make some effort.....(but not tonight). Sigh. 

Forherself's picture
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2019

to enjoy your sex life again!   And I think you could talk to your Family doctor about this too.    I would not wait until December.  Go for it!

Posts: 90
Joined: Apr 2020

I echo the encouragement to enjoy your sex life again.  I waited the prescribed time after surgery, wasn't too interested during chemo or none during radiation.  But I use the dilator and have sex fairly regularly now.  I think it is important to use the dilator daily for awhile.  After a year I am down to two times weekly, either dilator or sex to keep things open.  Lubricants are helpful because if nothing else age tends to cause less natural lubrication.  I am happy to have a sex life.  I too enjoy the physical intimacy. Good luck!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mar 2013

Linda, if I could make a suggestion.  I remember one dear lady telling me to use the dialator every day, and I did for years.  Also, after about a year or two of the Medium sized dialator, my gyn onc said to pick up a Large from the front desk.  The M was easy.  The L was a real struggle, but I kept at it, every day, and eventually got there.  I would just lend you my encouragement and hope this works for you.  Hugs.

Quilter_1's picture
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2019

I will try using my dilator daily and then increasing the size.  I just am so aggragated that cancer has changed my life in ways that sometimes take a while to hit you.  

woodstock99's picture
Posts: 108
Joined: May 2021

Good for you Linda. 

My husband and I had a wodnerfiul and active sex liufe for many years until about 15 years aho whne menopause hit me hard.  I gained weight and I got very dry and sex became painful and we eventualy just stopped. It would be lovely to be intimnate in that way again but I think we have both lost interest.  I am gerateful we were both active in our younger days.  

Other ladies: how long did it take to get up to using your dilator daily?  I just started about 3 weeks ago and am doing every other day.  I bought the silicone type dilators and they came in a set of 4 - size 1 to 4.  I have graduated to size 2 and right now can't imagine using size 3.  I wonder how the S-M-L sizes correlate to the 1-2-34 sizes.  My husnad is definitely larger than the size 4 one so totally out of the question!  

Quilter_1's picture
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2019

Thank you all for your suggestions and support.  Love you all.

Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

After the radiation, the nurse gave me a small and a medium dilator.  I opened them up then and there, and started laughing.  "Oh no, these are NOT going to be of much use for me in my marriage!"  I asked for the large, which was much more appropriate.  I think she was a bit taken aback by my forthrightness, but being shy certainly wouldn't have been of any use.

For me, the key was surgical lubricant and going slow.  But it worked.

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