The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

Sexuality

Sexuality, wellness and fertility are topics that aren’t talked about enough but are extremely important to the AYA cancer community. Check out stories and experiences that can help educate you on what to expect with sexual health, fertility and wellness. Have an experience or story that you’d like to share with the community?  Let us know about it!

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Sex and Relationships

by Camille Ferruzzi December 7, 2023

How exactly do you tell someone, “Oh, by the way, my eggs got blasted from chemo therapy, and I will never be able to have my own kids”? And when exactly is the best time to bring this up? First date? Third date? Right before or in the middle of getting busy?

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Dude, Where’s My Erection? Part III

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN September 27, 2023

We’ve made it to the final installment of this series! Part I highlighted how and why erection problems can occur after cancer, and Part II outlined some of the pharmacological options available to help improve erectile function for cancer survivors. However, not all erection issues require a prescription, and not all penises respond well to medicines. 

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Dude, Where’s My Erection? (Part II)

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN July 12, 2023

Welcome to Part II of a three-part conversation exploring the cancer and erection connection (turns out, there was so much good stuff to share that I had to extend the series!). As we dug into the nitty gritty of what erections actually are and how they work back in Part I, it became clear that there are several steps in the process that are vulnerable to the impacts of cancer and its treatments. Next on the agenda is what to do about it!

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Dude, Where’s My Erection? Part I

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN March 7, 2023

Warning: Mature Content

One of the most common sexual problems that survivors with penises experience are changes with erections (6,10). Unfortunately, erections don’t get a lot of air time during clinic conversations. For one thing, sexual side effects of treatments sometimes don’t show up right away, and over time survivorship concerns may no longer be on a provider’s radar (though they should be!).

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Orgasms After Cancer: Part II

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN November 22, 2022

Welcome to Part II of “Orgasms After Cancer!” In case you missed Part I, head back to the March 2022 issue of Elephants and Tea for a quick peek; it will be helpful as we move on to Part II. After all, the more you know about how things work, the more likely you are to discover what works for you. Sit tight, because things are about to get stimulating!

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Orgasms After Cancer: Part I

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN November 2, 2022

Understanding the “O” in “OMG!”

As if all the other side effects from cancer treatment aren’t bad enough, survivors can also experience frustrating changes in their sex lives, including newly altered (or absent!) orgasms. Why does this happen, and what can be done?

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“E” is for Emotional Intimacy

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN September 29, 2022

Cancer has a way of disrupting almost every aspect of a person’s life, including sex. If you’re like most young survivors, you may be struggling with a number of things that can affect how sexual you feel, or whether or not you’re interested in or able to engage in sexual activity. This is totally normal. Sometimes, though, altered sexual routines can also impact a couple’s emotional closeness. If you are in a romantic relationship, it’s important to remember that there are lots of ways to share intimacy that don’t include sex.

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The Who’s Who of Sexual Health in Survivorship

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN April 22, 2022

Building a Sexual Wellness Recovery Team. Changes in sex, intimacy, and relationships are common after cancer.  But if you are experiencing an issue, it can feel pretty lonely, and you may not know who to ask for help. Your primary care or oncology care teams are always a good place to start.

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The Ouch Factor

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN January 7, 2022

Why Sexual Pain Happens After Cancer, and What Can Be Done. If you experience discomfort with sexual activity, you’re not alone. Sexual pain happens to be the most commonly reported sexual complaint for women after cancer (Bober & Krapf, 2021).

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Help! I’m in Hot Flash Hell!

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN July 23, 2021

Hot flashes and night sweats are common side effects of cancer treatment. Although hot flashes themselves are not unsafe or unhealthy, they can be extremely disruptive and distressing. The good news is that there are options available to help you find relief.  

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