Health Watch: Improving libido after cancer

SLUCare OB/GYN, Dr. Becky Lynn says cancer can do real damage to a woman's desire for sexual intimacy following cancer.  During cancer treatment, women are often focused on surviving.

"And then, patients are sort of left with after treatment now what?"  Dr. Lynn is one of the only obstetricians in the St. Louis area specializing in women's sexual health.  And, Dr. Lynn can relate.  "I was just like them in 2010. I underwent breast cancer treatment. So I hear what they're saying and I feel for them."

Hormone associated cancers cause Dr. Lynn to look at options like antidepressants and other hormone-free treatments.

"Addyi, for one, is something that I use in breast cancer patients who can't take hormones. So, there is something out there that, even if you can't take hormones that you can use to jump start your sex drive."

Exercise, a clean diet and lots of communication between partners are things that women can do at every stage of their cancer fight.

"They really have to focus on their cancer treatment first, but there are some things that you can do even while going through treatment that help your sex life but help your overall health as well."

The message to take away from all this, Lynn says, is that female sexuality is a complicated process of the physical, the emotional and the psychological. "There are many things we can do to bring intimacy back to your relationship. The important thing to remember is that a woman's sexual and intimate life doesn't have to end with age or illness."

To find out more about Dr. Becky Lynn and Women's Sexual Health, click here.