– Karen Bouchard PA-C
The statistics are very REAL; 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and 11% of these women are under the age of 45. Treatment is exhausting, and often includes multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. The side effects of treatment are immense – hair loss, nausea, painful scars, and the fear associated with the diagnosis. All of this creates a significant physical and emotional toll, but the one thing that so many do not talk about, is the tremendous impact this diagnosis and treatment can have on intimacy and sexual activity.
Not only are women dealing with body image changes, and adjusting to a new intimate life with or without breasts, but treatment can also induce an early menopause either surgically or medically with estrogen blocking therapies such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. Vaginal changes begin to occur, causing dryness and thinning of the vaginal lining, eventually leading to painful or even impossible sex. Many women are too embarrassed to approach this subject with their physician or even their spouses. They assume it’s “just them”, or that there are no options for what they are going through, often suffering quietly, and pulling away from their spouses or significant other. When they do seek help, they find the recommendations are limited. There are topical hormone creams, suppositories, and lubricants, but these are often messy and ineffective.
But now, knowing that there is a real, viable option out there for these women is tremendous. A simple in-office laser treatment series to the vaginal tissue can significantly improve the thickness, moisture, and health of the vaginal lining.
The results are real, and can completely change their outlook, helping these women to regain their confidence and pleasure in their intimate relationships again. Now cancer survivors can do so much more than just survive, they can benefit from this easy way to regain their quality of life.