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Yale Gynecologist Mary Jane Minkin, MD Shares Advice on Sexuality, Intimacy & Arousal Following a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

NEW HAVEN, Conn. , September 22 /Businesswire/ - A 2020 dissertation submitted by Melissa Diane Scalia from the University Of California entitled, Sexuality and Femininity in Older Women After the Diagnosis of Early Stage Breast Cancer explores the physical and emotional impact of a breast cancer diagnosis on sexuality and intimacy among older women. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yale University and Founder of MadameOvary.com offers patients and women being treated for breast cancer solutions to deal with lack of sexual desire, pain during sex, vaginal dryness, irritation, soreness, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms that can occur after treatment of breast cancer.

“A cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of a woman’s sex life, but it’s important that this issue be addressed and treated for both physiological and biological factors that may disrupt physical sexual activity,” says Dr. Minkin. “Sexual well-being, including regaining desire, arousal, and orgasm should be considered an essential part of treatment for cancer patients and survivors, and there are many options available to help with these common issues.”

  1. Sex is a natural way to decrease stress and can help with the onset and quality of sleep. Sex helps to release healthy hormones, like oxytocin, which has a positive impact on REM sleep. The oxytocin released with hugging, stimulation and orgasm can increase feelings of calm and safety, dropping cortisol levels, which are prerequisites for optimizing sleep.
  2. Arousal, penetration, and orgasm can be difficult when sex is reluctantly resumed because of marital duty or fear of abandonment. Women can find relief from chronic dryness with use of estrogen-free Replens long-lasting Vaginal Moisturizer when used 2-3x’s per week to promote healing of the vaginal tissues. If cracking, burning or irritation on the outside skin of the vagina (vulva), is experienced, Replens Moisture Restore External Comfort Gel soothes and relieves irritation, discomfort and chafing so you can return to normal daily activities like walking, prolonged sitting and exercising.
  3. Vaginal dryness can cause painful sex. It is essential to use good silicone lube immediately before sex like Replens Silky Smooth, to enhance, ease and make intimacy more pleasurable and comfortable and help eliminate abrasion.
  4. Strong pelvic floor muscles can improve sexual desire and lead to a better orgasm. Attain is an over-the-counter, non-implantable muscle stimulator designed for at home use to help treat the nearly half of women over 50 suffering with stress, urge, mixed urinary incontinence and/or bowel incontinence.
  5. Soul Source silicone vaginal dilators are helpful tools when working through painful intercourse and other vaginal conditions. They were created by a sex therapist and gynecologist to help women undergoing progressive vaginal dilation therapy. To understand how to use vaginal dilators, go to MadameOvary.com and watch the 'Menopause for Cancer Survivors' videos.
  6. Although doctors are encouraged to ask their patients about all potential side effects of treatment, including changes in sexual intimacy, it is important to speak up about anything you are experiencing. Even if your doctor does not have the answers, he/she will be able to refer you to someone who can help.

“Women now have safe and effective solutions to common complaints, like vaginal dryness, painful sex and early onset of menopause,” adds Minkin. “It’s important to be an advocate for your own health, as some physicians can fail to bring up intimacy and sexual issues, which falls to women themselves to seek the latest tools and best solutions available.”

For more information and helpful resources on breast cancer survivorship and menopause, visit www.madameovary.com.


STORY TAGS: Connecticut, Product/Service, Women, Managed Care, Oncology, General Health, Health, Mental Health, Consumer, Other Health, United States, North America,

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