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Sex, Side Effects and Breast Cancer

Published on January 14, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • There are two classes of aromatase inhibitors, if one has bad side effects, ask your doctor about trying the other.
  • Vaginal estrogen is safe to use for vaginal dryness.
  • Doctors are the expert in the disease, but we are experts on living with the disease.
  • Sexual desire is multifactorial for women, so it’s harder for women than just taking a pill
  • Exercise is helpful for side effects of aromatase inhibitors

Breast cancer treatments can affect your sex life. Patient Power’s Andrea Hutton and Dr. Kelly Shanahan discuss how aromatase inhibitors, by blocking estrogen, can cause menopausal symptoms and sexual side effects. Dr. Kelly Shanahan, a former gynecologist living with metastatic breast cancer, explains how treatments like aromatase inhibitors can impact sexual health, and options for side effect management to help women find relief safely. Watch as Dr. Shanahan shares strategies to help women suffering from things like vaginal dryness or discomfort.   

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.


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