When Lauren presented to my clinical practice, I was shocked to see the change in this former model turned accountant, married mother of two.  Lauren was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and now Lauren was thin, pale, bald, and very weak as a result.  Lauren came to see me because she was suffering from vaginal dryness, a subject not always easy to talk about. Vaginal dryness is a very common problem for many women who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

Vaginal dryness was having a negative effect on Lauren’s quality of life. She knew how important her cancer treatment was to her recovery, but the vaginal dryness was really getting to her. Vaginal dryness is common in women with cancer and more severe in breast cancer patients as cancer treatment can lead to early menopause. The treatment puts women into early menopause as a result of chemotherapy, surgery, hormone and/or radiation.

Estrogen is the hormone regulator of the vagina that is responsible for keeping the vaginal walls elastic and maintaining the moisture. When the estrogen receptors decrease at menopause, vaginal dryness may be the result.  The vaginal dryness experienced by so many women may lead to painful sex.  Now this is no way to end a woman’s reproductive life. And it should not be the end of a sex life. But for those women who are sexually active, it may do just that! Sex is important at any time of life. The benefits to mood and pain relief cannot be overstated. Sex is a great comfort during difficult times of life. The discomfort of vaginal dryness has a negative impact on quality of life. For those women who are not sexually active, it can still be quite uncomfortable. Estrogen receptors decrease in women who are having cancer treatments.

Vaginal dryness will impact the female sexual response cycle, lowering sexual desire, and impacting sexual arousal and orgasm. I explained to Lauren that it would be expected that she feel down with the symptoms of vaginal dryness. It is very uncomfortable. It could impact her relationship as her sexual self-esteem could be impacted.

I recommended that Lauren tries RepaGyn, a hormone-free ovule, that is inserted into the vagina nightly for two to three weeks and then twice per week after that as needed. It would optimize within about three weeks, but she should begin to feel better sooner than that. She had very little energy because of her treatments and was delighted to know she could order RepaGyn online at repagyn.ca.

Lauren’s case underscored my belief that sexual health education is vital at any time in life whether one is well or experiencing a health condition. If you would like me to send you samples of Repagyn to treat your vaginal dryness, please email me at nursetalk@hotmail.com

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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