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Sexual Self Esteem After Cancer

By January 17, 2011 - 12:51pm

More Videos from Zestra 15 videos in this series

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Cancer survivors go through an amazing amount of changes – changes that happen to both the body and mind before, during and after treatment. In fact, cancer can really put the brakes on a woman’s sex drive, but it doesn’t have to. Guests Dr. Michael Krychman and Zestra sexpert Rachel Braun Scherl discuss “sexy survivorship” and how to improve your sexual self esteem (something all women can truly benefit from).

Kristy Villa:
Cancer survivors go through an amazing amount of changes – changes that happen to both the body and mind before, during and after treatment. In fact, cancer can really put the brakes on a woman’s sex drive, but it doesn’t have to and as we focus on breast cancer awareness this month, here to help us understand the basics of sexy survival is Dr. Michael Krychman, an OB/GYN who specializes in sexual health and survivorship medicine, and our s-expert is back with us – Rachel Braun Scherl from Zestra. Welcome back Rachel.

Rachel Braun Scherl:
Thank you.

Kristy Villa:
Doctor, thank you so much for being here this morning.

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Thank you.

Kristy Villa:
Doctor, let’s talk about cancer survivors and what they face. Obviously priority is to get better and get healthy, and sometimes maybe sexual activity is really not on the top of the list, but maybe sometimes it should be – would you agree?

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Yeah, definitely. Very often in the acute crisis of cancer relationships, intimacy is not very much thought of but we now know from a lot of research that good sexuality, good relationships really leads towards lowered medications, longevity and we now see that good sexual health really leads to overall good general health and well-being.

Kristy Villa:
Just like we always hear right Rachel, exercise is good for the health.

Rachel Braun Scherl:
And so is sex. It’s good for you physically and it’s good for you emotionally. It’s good for your relationships. There’s research that says that women who have more active fulfilling sex lives live longer, happier, healthier lives. So it’s really important, especially when you are dealing with a specific disease.

Kristy Villa:
And less depressed, less anxious, more positive?

Rachel Braun Scherl:
Absolutely, and all those benefits have been borne out and you ask an average woman how she feels when she is having great frequent sex and she seems a lot happier.

Kristy Villa:
Well she is glowing, isn’t she?

Rachel Braun Scherl:
Absolutely.

Kristy Villa:
Now doctor, let’s talk about what actually happens to the body when a cancer survivor is undergoing treatments. What is she experiencing inside?

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Well definitely I like to break it up into two different aspects – one is the medical aspect where we see that surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or even medications certainly have direct impact. We may remove an organ. We might be left with scars. We might even have changes in hair; hair might fall out.

We also see that a lot of women will go through early menopause where hormones are lowered; they might have hot flashes, vaginal dryness, experience changes in sexual desire or arousal, or even have problems achieving an orgasm, so definitely a lot of medical issues.

On the flip side we also see changes in what I would like to call ‘sexual self-esteem’, how a woman looks at herself in terms of her sexual being. This may change. She may not feel that she is sexy. It may have an impact on how she feels about herself as well as how she interacts in the relationship as well.

Rachel Braun Scherl:
And this is really important because sexual self-esteem could affect all women. At Zestra we hear from women all the time who feel like they lost something and maybe were able to get something back and we love this idea of sexual self-esteem because it makes it important. It’s not just how you feel about yourself as a person but how you feel about yourself sexually because that’s an important part of your life as well.

Kristy Villa:
And how do you help a woman get that sexual self-esteem back? What are some solutions there?

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Well, I think the first issue is to break down the barriers. I think that we are not talking about it.

Kristy Villa:
This is true.

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Research shows that about 90% of all women, no matter what cancer they face, have problems and complaints of sexual intimacy, so really opening up the dialogue.

I think it’s also important to know that there are things that we can do, even simple suggestions, things like over-the-counter moisturizers, lubricants, or even products like Zestra can help a woman reclaim her intimacy.

Rachel Braun Scherl:
And Zestra is pretty unique in this regard because it is a patented blend of botanical oils and it’s topically applied to the woman. Importantly, especially for cancer survivors, it’s hormone-free. It’s been safe. It’s been used by many, many women and all the active ingredients are natural. So you don’t have to worry about that in addition to all the other things you are worrying about when you are trying to get healthy.

Kristy Villa:
And Rachel you and I have talked about how you have actually spoken to women about just what it did for them.

Rachel Braun Scherl:
It is so heartwarming, we get testimonials and phone calls and emails every day. “My sex life is back. Zestra put a smile on my face. I feel differently when I look at my husband. My husband seems to want to celebrate me every day,” and it really makes such a difference in women’s lives and I think it’s too easy for women who are struggling with cancer or who are generally healthy, to forget how important their sexual satisfaction is in their lives.

Kristy Villa:
And doctor, let’s be honest, when a woman is feeling like she just said, feeling great, glowing, that’s half the battle and the fight, isn’t it?

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Yes, it definitely is. I think medicine now is shifting gears. We are now really focusing on mind, body and spirit, looking at the complete person. Not only their experience of disease but the experience of disease after they leave the medical office or the hospital and how that impacts their relationships, their family lives, their children, even their extended family and friends are certainly impacted by cancer.

So it’s not only about veins, arteries, nerves and hormones, but it’s also about relationships and how what we do as healthcare professionals certainly impact a variety of different aspects of a woman’s life.

Kristy Villa:
Excellent information, doctor, thank you so much for your time. Rachel, great seeing you again.

Dr. Michael Krychman:
Thank you.

Rachel Braun Scherl:
Good to see you.

Kristy Villa:
And if you want more information on Dr. Krychman go to the sexualhealthcenter.com and for more information on Zestra, as we have said many times before, go to Zestra.com.

Today’s show is brought to you in part by Zestra – a natural blend of botanical oils and extracts, clinically proven to enhance a woman’s desire, arousal and satisfaction. Experience the ‘Zestra rush’ for yourselves.

Keywords:
Related Terms: Female Orgasm, Menopause, Low Libido, Female Viagra, Sexual Arousal, Sexual Desire, Increased Female Libido, Female Arousal, Aphrodisiac For Women, Female Aphrodisiac, Female Sex Drive, Female Sexual Enhancement, Women Having Sexual Difficulties, Sex Drive, Vaginal Dryness, Vaginal Atrophy, Female Libido Enhancer, Sexual Satisfaction, Arousal Gel

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