Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Monday, January 03, 2011 Linda, Community Member, asks

Q: What can I use for vaginal dryness with painful intercourse? I am taking tamoxifen and had been on using vagifem tabs prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. I was told I could not use those anymore

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/ 3/11 3:08pm

This is a tough one, Linda; many women go through this, and you're not alone. I know several women (including my oncology nurse) who swear by regular applicaiotns of olive oil; not a whole lot (you're not making salad!), just a bit. You might see if your oncologist would let you use Estring, an internal ring that releases estradiol into your vagina; some think it's OK, and not enough  is absorbed into your system to hurt. Also, take a look at this page for more hints. Best of luck to you - PJH

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Linda, Community Member
1/ 3/11 5:53pm

Thank you PJ  I will ask my oncologist.  I am not sure why, if I could use that Estring , why I couldn't use the vagifem inserts.  I only used those 2 to 3 times a week.   Seems like that would be better than something that remains inside for 90 days.

 

 

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/ 3/11 8:30pm

Well, there's different opinions among different oncologists as to how much potential risk is involved with what's really a topical appliation of estrogen. My onco seems to think it's OK; maybe yours is more cautious... PJH

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Linda, Community Member
1/ 3/11 8:38pm

Yeah I guess.   I am still going to ask her if I can going to ask her again about the inserts.  Thank you guys so much for your help.  I don't know what I would do without you.  I only see my doc every three months and that is only for about 2-3 minutes.  

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/ 3/11 8:48pm

Glad we could help, Linda- PJ

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
1/ 4/11 6:39am

You can use any of the over-the-counter vaginal lubricants that do not have estrogen.  Ask the pharmacist if you are not sure, but I think you will be able to tell from the wording on the label.  

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By Linda, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/04/11, First Published: 01/03/11