Can be physical and/or psychological-How to prevent
Exploring Sexual Intimacy andBreast Cancer Meg Fitzgerald MSW Dip PST Psychosexual Therapist The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin
Overview Let’s Talk about Sex Impact of Cancer on Sexuality and Sexual Functioning Resuming a Sexual Life
Let’s Talk about Sex Definitions of Sexuality Purposes of Sex? Normal Sex?
Impact of CancerAt time of Diagnosis; Management of Treatment is main goal Sex not a priority May already be difficulties pre-diagnosis
Treatment Surgery Radiotherapy Chemotherapy Perceived Violation/Medicalization Body Image/Loss of femininity/Scarring Fatigue/Nausea/Hair loss Loss of lubrication
Post-Treatment Anxiety Avoidance Guilt Frustration Continuing Body Image Concerns Early Menopause? Fertility Concerns?
Sexual Concerns Dyspareunia-painful sex Lack of Desire
Sexuality? Does not go away with illness Post serious illness does not equal sexual dysfunction How cope/make changes important
Resumption of Sexual Life Challenging Sexual Myths Body Image-Self Focus Communication Changing Sexual Script
Possible Concerns to Discuss What if I don’t want to be seen naked? If I don’t want my breasts/chest to be caressed? Do I tell new partners about my mastectomy? What if I am not interested in sex? If sex is painful? If I am too tired to have sex?
Regaining SexualRelationships Making Time Taking it Slowly Sensual Focus for self and couple Arousal-Lubricants/Sex Toys Experimenting with Sexual Positions ‘Good Enough Sex’
Some Suggestions www.beecourse.com Anne Katz ‘Women, Cancer, Sex’ Barry McCarthy ‘Rekindling Desire’ PST