A cancer diagnosis can turn a person’s entire world upside down. This includes their sex life. Although serious diseases such as cancer affects sexuality, it doesn’t have to be for the worse. Revitalising or maintaining a healthy sex life after breast cancer and a sense of sexual wellbeing during and after breast cancer is something that every individual should strive toward – whether married, in a relationship or single.
Turning disinterest into desire
The intensity of sexual desire varies from person to person and a number of factors can cause it to fluctuate. It is common for people diagnosed with cancer to experience a low sex drive as a result of the disease and its symptoms. Many struggle to respond to erotic stimulation and often feel that they will no longer be able to experience it after breast cancer.
Sexual wellbeing involves more than just physical sexuality and it starts with developing a positive body image and accepting the body as it is. After all, it has just survived a serious disease. It helps to know that you are not alone and that many women are facing a similar situation during and after breast cancer. Talking to a therapist or partner can strengthen feelings of confidence and inner balance. It is important to guide the senses in a positive direction, to open up and allow others in. This is also a very important approach for partners to take as well.
The road to a fulfilling sex life – during and after breast cancer
Carefree sexuality can have a number of positive effects on both partners. The endorphins released help strengthen the bonds of a relationship, promoting a feeling of happiness. Although cancer can significantly change an individual’s sexuality, it does not have to signify the end of your sex life altogether. It is important to experiment with new ways of expressing your sexuality, together with a partner or by yourself. After surviving a disease, some aspects may no longer work as they once had. But this could also mean that other aspects might work better. Taking a new approach to intimacy can be a lot of fun. There are endless possibilities, as long as both partners have the patience to respond to the changing needs of each other.
- This is especially true in the period immediately after breast cancer treatment, as sexual intercourse may still be painful. In this case, couples can experiment with simply touching each other, perhaps even in places that they had otherwise never considered. An affectionate caress can be very enjoyable and stimulating.
- This includes cuddling. Instead of having sex, just cuddling with each other can sometimes do an incredible amount of good. It also represents a gradual step toward carefree sexuality after breast cancer.
- Sexual aids, new exciting positions or other ideas that you have not yet experienced can do wonders during periods such as these, while you are getting reacquainted with your sex life. Both partners should share their ideas and decide together on their personal comfort zones.
- If both partners are experiencing lower sex drives, watching erotic films or reading erotic literature can help. This can stimulate exciting erotic fantasies. Creating a romantic mood with candles and a nice meal along with a fine glass of wine can also have a positive effect. Desires may emerge naturally if an atmosphere of sensuality is created. Helpful tip: anything goes – as long as you both enjoy it.
- Get a massage from your partner, or massage them yourself. Erotic massages can do the body a great deal of good. Massage relaxes the body and can potentially lead to renewed interest in your partner.
- Self-stimulation is also a good way of overcoming a lack of desire after breast cancer.
Everyone has to decide for themselves what it is that will help them to enjoy their own sex life again after breast cancer.
For singles, the search for a new partner can also be a fun and exciting adventure. You can enjoy these new experiences with a new partner.
It could take time for couples or singles to adjust to the new situation and their changing sexual desires during and after breast cancer. Experimenting with new ideas can not only be fun, but can strengthen any relationship.
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