When it comes to cancer treatment, here’s a subject a lot of people don’t like to talk about: the changes that take place in a woman’s body – especially “down there.”
But that’s crazy. Silence means that women are suffering unnecessarily, and when there are ways to help stop or alleviate that suffering, it’s just wrong not to talk about these issues. So let’s do it!
For starters: Breast cancer drugs can cause menopause or “the change of life” to start early. Some women will stop getting their period (menstruating) for a brief time, while others will stop altogether. And if that happens, that can result in several things.
A woman might not be able to have children. This is a drastic consequence and too many young women start breast cancer treatment without getting fertility advice. That is why we devote a whole section of this website and create a lot of messages to make sure that when a woman who might want to have children one day (or more children) and who gets a breast cancer diagnosis, knows to stop and make some decisions about protecting her fertility first. Never let a doctor rush you into treatment until you understand all your options.
A lot of women deal with symptoms of menopause by getting Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Don’t do it! HRT contains estrogen can help some breast cancers to grow, so make sure any doctor you are dealing with knows you are a breast cancer patient. And watch other products too – they may contain things that act like estrogen, such as soy products.
So you may get the hot flashes that come with menopause. Thankfully, we have a whole list of things to help you deal with those. We also have tips to deal with the vaginal dryness that can also happen, along with, not surprisingly, the painful sex that can also result from being ill! We even have a couple of suggestions for dealing with that feeling that you’re too tired for sex. So read on for these tips and other resources to help you deal with all of these things!