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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

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Chemotherapy and Your Sex Life

By Joanna Karpasea-Jones
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possible effects chemotherapy may have on your sex life
PS Productions/Photospin

If you are going to have chemotherapy for cancer you may be concerned how this will affect your sex life.

Often, it is difficult to discuss this intimate subject with medical professionals so it isn’t given the attention it deserves.

There are several ways chemotherapy can affect sex. They are:

· Making you too tired for any intimacy

· Making you too nauseated

· Depression caused by chemotherapy-induced fatigue or worries about cancer

· The effects of the actual cancer making you feel ill

· Feeling unattractive after cancer surgery

· Failure to get an erection in male chemotherapy patients

· If a woman has also had radiotherapy to her vaginal this may cause vaginal narrowing and pain or prevent penetration

· You may have genital thrush due to a weakened immune system caused by chemotherapy and this will make intercourse painful

· Vaginal dryness caused by hormonal changes resulting from chemotherapy

Some medical professionals believe that chemicals from the chemotherapy may break down in the body and be present in trace amounts in semen or vaginal secretions. This may result in soreness or discomfort for your partner when they come into contact with them, although the medical evidence for this is poor.

If you are female and you have had surgery and/or radiotherapy to your pelvis as part of your cancer treatment you should ask your oncologist or specialist cancer nurses before you resume penetrative sex as it may not be safe.

If you have been given medical approval to resume, then you should use condoms to prevent potential soreness in your partner and also because in premenopausal women it may still be possible to get pregnant even though you are having chemotherapy.

If you have genital thrush you may also transmit it to your partner via unprotected sex.

If you aren’t feeling well enough to attempt intercourse, it is important to communicate this to your partner.

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EmpowHER Guest

Enterade – R is a medical food for rehydration when you are undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Enterade – R was developed based on cutting edge science from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Florida. The key findings that were utilized to develop this product are:

Your normal rehydration process based on glucose mediated sodium absorption is compromised during radiotherapy and chemotherapy. If a glucose containing drink is used for rehydration during radiotherapy or chemotherapy, there will very little absorption of sodium and other electrolytes. This will leave you dehydrated. In addition, because the glucose from the drink is not absorbed, it stays in your intestine and causes osmotic diarrhea. This will exacerbate the vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration that you may already be experiencing as the side effect of radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Our scientists discovered alternate pathways for rehydration that kick in when the normal glucose mediated sodium absorption starts failing. These alternate pathways are driven by specific amino acids. Enterade – R is a mixture of these specific amino acids in the required concentrations along with electrolytes to rehydrate you when your glucose mediated rehydration process is failing due to radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

The recommended dose of Enterade – R is 2 bottles (8 fl oz each) a day during the course of radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Please ask your healthcare professional if you are planning to use this product.

Please visit www.enterade.com or call 1-855-ENTERADE for more information.

The above statements about Enterade – R have not been evaluated by the FDA. Enterade – R is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

November 15, 2012 - 11:26am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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