Posted 8/16/2013 10:40 AM (GMT -7)
Sorry to come to this discussion so late...hope my perspective helps.
First...the dryness, etc., is NOT in your head. It is very real...very much akin to what I went through with menopause which should be no surprise since Femara shuts down estrogen...like menopause.
Menopause was not much of an issue for me at the time as I was single. Then at 56 I met a wonderful man and fell deeply in love. Sex was painful...surprisingly so. But, my love is a gentle, big teddy bear of a man and I discovered that lubrication helps...and so does frequent love-making. We had a wonderful sex life. It truly was a use it or lose it scenario. Then last year, just after my 60th birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I chose a bilateral mastectomy and the lymph nodes removed on my left side (the side of the tumor). Shortened story...no radiation, no chemo, but Femara strongly recommended. I have been taking it for over a year now. Here's what I discovered...
Back to square one...everything dried up...even more so. Yes...lubricant helps (indulge in the ones that warm up) but it's not the same. Yes...increased frequency helps...but that's not the same either. What I found helps the most is lots of foreplay and changing positions. I love being held and snuggled so missionary was always my favorite. But...it's the most painful...not uncomfortable...painful. My being on top is best. With generous lubricant and frequency, making love is very enjoyable again. The best part is that by being on top YOU set the pace which means you can go slower and take your time. It's uncomfortable at first...but you can get beyond it. The days of instant sex are behind me...but not wonderful love-making.
The wonderful thing about my guy is that he is patient and loving and generous. Even more, it's not that the mastectomy didn't make a difference, to him there is no difference. My breasts are not what he loved...I am. Oh...and here's another thing I discovered. Your chest is still very sensitive and gentle kisses and caressing (like before the surgery) can still be very arousing...which also helps.
Side effects to Femara are very real. Any doctor who says otherwise never talks/listens to his patients. I've gained 15 pounds, have minor joint and muscle aches, and dryness is REAL. BUT...I am "knock wood" cancer free and looking forward to ACT III of my life. If Femara keeps cancer from coming back, well, all of life is trade-offs. Hope this helps.