Low Sex Drive
Decreased libido is one of common side effects of chemotherapy drugs. Many
patients complain about lack of sexual desire during and weeks after undergoing cancer treatment. Fortunately,
not all chemo drugs cause low sex drive. Most common cancer therapies that are known to lead to decreased libido
include treatment for gynecologic cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer. That does not mean other
chemotherapy drugs and other medications for other types of cancer do not reduce sexual appetite; their effects
objective of chemotherapy agents is to destroy cancer cells in
the entire body. They recognize cancer cells by their ability to reproduce anarchically. Unfortunately,
non-cancerous cells that multiply rapidly are also affected. This leads, in most patients, to development of a
number of side effects - such as feeling sick, weakness, depression, tiredness, lack of energy and low sex
drive. These side effects, however, can often be reduced or complete stopped using other medications associated
with a healthy diet and lifestyle. In fact, once the chemotherapy is over, the sex drive usually comes
Chemotherapy's Effects on Women
drugs can also cause low sex drive in women. In some women the therapy can lead to hypoactive sexual desire
disorder, serious and persistent lack of interest in sex that affects mood and causes personal distress. This
can be due to many reasons. For instance, chemotherapy can reduce the amount of hormones produced by the
ovaries, leading to absence or changes in menstrual period.
chance or absence of menstruation does not mean pregnancy cannot happen. It is therefore important to talk to
your doctor about contraception if you do not want to get pregnant. In addition, you don’t have to accept your
decreased libido; there are drugs and natural alternatives that can help to increase sexual drive and improve
The fact that the
ovaries reduce their hormonal production, certain women can experience symptoms of early menopause, including
hot flushes, irritability, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness and vaginal candidiasis. In fact, vaginal thrush (vaginal Candidiasis) is common in women undergoing chemotherapy, especially
those who are taking steroids or antibiotherapy.
Effects on Men
A great majority
of men suffer from low sex drive during their cancer treatment due to tiredness and possibly feelings of
sickness. For some – mostly those undergoing
treatment for prostate cancer or testicular cancer – the impotence is resulted from the direct
effect of the therapy that reduces the amount of production of male hormone (testosterone). The good news is
that the verity usually returns to normal soon after the end of the therapy. Although possible, it is very
difficult for chemotherapy to permanently stop a man's ability to get and keep an erection. Therefore, see your doctor if after the cancer treatment you
still are unable to have a normal erection.
There are a
variety of natural ways men who are having low sex drive or are unable to have erection can increase their
sexual desire. For instance, taking horny goat
weed supplement along with a healthy diet and a good night sleep (about 7 hours a night) can make a
great difference. In addition, fresh organic raw eggs blended with
homemade grape juice and honey can also boost libido.
Although certain men can neglect sexual intercourse during the therapy, it is important to consider and have
sexual pleasure and everything that bring joy. Regularly sexual pleasure has a positive effect on the mood
and increase confidence; a good mood helps boosts the immune system, thus necessary during cancer
intercourse is encouraged, but pregnancy should be avoided during chemotherapy. Most chemo drugs could harm the
developing baby, causing serious health problems. For this reason, it is recommended to use a reliable method of
contraception throughout the treatment and for up to a year afterwards.
What You Can Do?
You need to
eat foods that increase libido such as:
You can also
do the following:
You need to
avoid alcohol and medications that decrease your sex drive: heart medications, anti-depressants,
important to maintain good general health, through diet, exercise and healthy environment; avoiding alcohol and
other things that can lead to erectile dysfunction are crucial
necessary, you can ask your doctor to prescribe you Sildafenil (Viagara®); it can provide major relief from erectile dysfunction. Sildafenil works by
blocking the enzyme PDE-5 which ruins
nitric oxide, and allows
the penis to sustain a normal erection.
moral support when suffering from decreased libido; therefore, communication with your spouse to help you
overcome the problem.
relax before initiating sexual activity to minimize fatigue during and afterwards.
meals before any sexual intercourse
hour before sexual intercourse, take a warm bath, play soft music to put you in a good mood.
neglect to use massage oils to rub your partner's hands, back, or feet .Touching exercises and cuddling may be
effective in increase your sex drive.
support groups; they help you meet people struggling with the same experiences as you are. Share your
experience with others, while they share theirs with you will help you to feel less alone.
have vaginal dryness can use water based vaginal lubricants such as K-Y jelly, Lubrin, Surgilube or Astroglide,
prior to penetration.
who are unable to have a normal erection due to impaired blood circulation, Kegel exercises may help.
devices, and penile implants may be considered if medications and natural alternatives do not
When to See a Doctor?
experience loss of libido, you need to inform your healthcare provider so that you can be prescribed appropriate
medications if necessary.
For additional information about effects of cancer and
chemo please visit cancer effects
1 - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/low-sex-drive-in-women/DS01043