Breast cancer survivors report sex issues

Nov. 11, 2008 at 2:23 PM
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Young, female breast cancer survivors often suffer from sexual and intimate relationship issues and use sexual enhancement products, U.S. researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Nursing, found a significant number of women reported vaginal dryness, genital pain, premature menopause, fatigue and fertility problems. In addition, survivors experienced significant problems related to sexual arousal, desire and orgasm.

Lead researcher Debby Herbenick of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University Bloomington's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation said more than 2 million breast cancer survivors are living in the United States.

Most of the women surveyed reported interest in using personal lubricants and massage lotions and oils. Half of the women surveyed were interested in using vibrators or dildos and more than one-third were interested in sex games, the study said.

The women in the study also indicated comfort in purchasing sexual enhancement products through in-home parties held in someone's own home or during one's regular breast cancer support group meeting, and less at adult Web sites, adult bookstores or novelty stores.

"Although previous work has documented the sexual difficulties faced by young breast cancer survivors, strikingly little work has addressed strategies women might take to address these sexual problems," Herbenick said in a statement.

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