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Let's Get Intimate

July 14, 2006
by Lianne Avila, MA, MFT

Yes, there is intimacy after Breast Cancer.  As you learn more about your body and your desires, be direct and specific.  "Not now honey, I'm just not up to sex at this moment." Or experiment "Let's not have intercourse, but please hold me / please caress me / please massage me here / lets try intercourse even if we have to stop."   It may be easier to talk about sex when you are not on the verge of starting it.  Choose a time when you are settled in together and in a neutral environment.  Talking about sex may be new for you, but change can be exciting.

The Shock Factor

I remember the day I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer; my first thought was I am going to die!  After I began treatment I realized that is not always true and I am alive and well today.  Having Cancer at any age is a shock but you can get through it.  Just the mere shock of a Breast Cancer diagnosis can cause a loss in your libido let alone the toll surgery and treatment can take.  Work on ways to feel more positive about yourself and your body.  Spend time with people who affirm who you are and how you have chosen to deal with the disease.  This will help your self-esteem so you will feel better about yourself when you are in an intimate situation.

It's Up to You

The bottom line is, it is up to you and you need to listen to your body.  It is normal to lose your libido during treatment and it may take time to come back after treatment.  It is important you communicate with your partner and doctorís about this so you can get the help you need.

Start Moving

Yes, itís true exercise is good for your libido.  While you are checking out other solutions to your sexual concerns, try to get back to a regular pattern of exercise.  Do this gradually, as you feel up to it.  Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which contribute to your sense of well-being.  Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on a person's sex life.  Besides, toning and limbering up your muscles will make you feel better about yourself and proud of your self-discipline.  A confident you is a sexier you!
As a Breast Cancer Survivor since 2001, I understand what it feels like to go through the range of emotions that can come with a Breast Cancer diagnosis.  As a licensed counselor, I am dedicated to helping women and families that have been affected by Breast Cancer.  For more information, I invite to visit
I wish you and your loved ones many blessings!
Lianne Avila, MA, MFT

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