• Helping Couples Cope with Cancer

    When Rosie found out at age 52 that she had Stage 2 breast cancer, she panicked. She wondered if she would live to see grandchildren, if she would need a mastectomy, and if she could manage to cope with months of chemotherapy. But her biggest fear was that Gordon, her second husband of 4 years, ...

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  • Why Don't We Do It in the Clinic? Setting Up a Service for Oncosexuality

    Few oncology settings provide optimal care for the sexual concerns of people treated for cancer. According to recent literature reviews, at best half of cancer patients recall any discussion of sexuality and cancer with their oncology team. If sex is mentioned, it is most commonly as a potential ...

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  • Will2Love’s New Public Health Campaign: Bring it Up! Cancer, Sex and Fertility

    As many as 60% of cancer survivors in the United States face long-term, severe problems with sexual function. As many as half still in their reproductive years also cope with damaged fertility. This week an article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reported that 23% of men with prostate cancer had...

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  • Will2Love Wins a Third Digital Health Award!

    Will2Love has just won its third Digital Health Award! This one was a merit award for our home website, Will2Love.com. Our male self-help program won a merit award in 2015, and our female self-help program garnered a bronze award in 2016.  The Digital Health Awards(SM) program is organized by ...

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  • Can You Trust Will2Love to Keep Your Sexual Problems Private?

    Distrust in the privacy of our health care system is one of the reasons that only about 20% of cancer survivors get professional help for their sexual problems. We’ve all read about hackers stealing identification and insurance records from health care systems or people on staff at a hospital ...

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  • New Study Finds That Internet-Based Counseling Improves Sex Lives of Women with Breast Cancer

    A study of 169 breast cancer survivors in the Netherlands found that women randomized to get an online treatment program for sexual problems improved far more than a group that only received a booklet to read. Improvements were seen in women’s sexual desire, pleasure, and problems with vaginal...

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  • A New Vaginal Hormone Treatment for Dryness and Pain with Sex

    At least half of women notice vaginal dryness in the years after reaching menopause, but very few seek medical help. Without the estrogen hormone that circulates in women's bloodstreams before menopause, the vagina produces less natural lubrication with sexual excitement. It also tends to ...

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  • What We Do and Don't Know about Vaginal Dilators

    This was also posted on the blog page of SoulSource.com, a company that makes vaginal dilators. They have the greatest variety of sizes and types of dilators I have found. Vaginal dilators have been around in one form or another for at least 50 years. When I first worked as a psychologist/sex ...

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  • Why I Started Will2Love

    Will2Love is a startup company offering online help for cancer-related concerns about sexuality or fertility. Why is that important? Because over 60% of the 15.5 million cancer survivors in the US end up with severe sexual problems that do not go away by themselves, yet fewer than 20% ever get help ...

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  • Climacturia: The Drip that Dares Not Speak Its Name

    Leaking urine during sex is a problem for men after radical prostatectomy, the operation to treat prostate cancer by removing the prostate. The most common pattern is to leak urine at the moment of orgasm. Since men no longer have semen after radical prostatectomy, it is often confusing at ...

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  • A Growing Epidemic of HPV-Related Cancers

    Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a frightening rise between 2008 and 2012 in cancers triggered by the human papillomavirus (HPV)--a sexually transmitted virus. During this time period, an average of 23,000 women and 15,800 men received a diagnosis each ...

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  • Even Extra Virgin Olive Oil Belongs on Your Orzo, NOT in Your Orifice!

    Perhaps two-thirds of American women have used a commercially-sold vaginal lubricant, whether to cope with vaginal dryness or just to make sex more pleasurable. Most commercial lubricants are either water-based or silicon-based. It is also quite common for women to use petroleum jelly or various ...

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  • New Rules to Protect a Couple Using a Donated Embryo to Become Parents

    When a man or woman is infertile after cancer treatment, one way to have a child is with an embryo donated by another couple. Many couples who were successful in having all the children they wanted through in vitro fertilization (IVF) have leftover frozen embryos. A small percentage donate those ...

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  • WILL2LOVE’S SURVEY ON UNMET SEXUALITY AND FERTILITY NEEDS IN WOMEN WITH PREMENOPAUSAL BREAST CANCER

    In March I attended the Young Survival Coalition Summit in Atlanta, a conference for women (and their loved ones) who have had breast cancer at a young age. I had an exhibit booth and asked women to fill out a short survey about their experiences in getting information and help with sexuality or ...

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  • More Women Will Be Struggling with Sexual Side Effects of Aromatase Inhibitors

    Between news from the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and recent published reports of clinical trials, more and more women with estrogen-positive breast cancer will be taking aromatase inhibitors. In postmenopausal women, aromatase inhibitors are more effective than ...

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  • GOOD NEWS FOR WOMEN WHO ARE DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER DURING A PREGNANCY

    Last year, about 4,000 pregnant women in the United States found out they had cancer. The most common cancers found during pregnancy are breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia. As women delay childbirth in order to complete their education or start careers, more are pregnant ...

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  • Repairing a Vaginal Fistula in Malawi

    In third-world countries, women suffer terribly if they get a vaginal fistula. A fistula is a hole that forms when an injury does not heal properly, often after childbirth when medical services are not available. The fistula may be between the vagina and urinary system, so that a woman drips ...

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  • What Happened to the Sex in Sexual Health?

    Stanford MedX is a meeting held yearly that focuses on innovations in health care. In 2015 it included a panel discussion on “intimacy.” In reality, it was a discussion of why people with chronic illness have such a hard time getting appropriate information and care for the sexual ...

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  • The Challenge of Living with Cancer for Women in Rural Africa

    In September, 2015, I participated in a Global Health Hackathon, and worked with a team on creating a pilot program to improve maternal health in Malawi, a very poor country in southeastern Africa. Many villages in rural Malawi are miles away from the nearest regional health clinic. Without paved ...

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  • WHY HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS DON’T TALK TO CANCER PATIENTS ABOUT SEX

    I was writing a proposal for grant funding to train physicians, nurses, and mental health professionals to be more comfortable and knowledgeable in discussing sexuality with cancer patients. I read journal article after journal article surveying health professionals about their attitudes and ...

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  • Five Reasons Why Flibanserin is NOT Female Viagra!

    The evidence that flibanserin works is flimsy. Flibanserin is a drug that failed as an antidepressant and was repurposed as a cure for women who believe their desire for sex is too low. In a series of randomized double-blind clinical trials, women reported it to be slightly better than the placebo ...

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  • DATING AFTER CANCER Eight Things You Need to Consider

    Meeting new partners can be a challenge, even for men who are in perfect health. How do you find the partner of your dreams after you have had cancer? When should you tell your partner about your cancer history, and what do you say when you do? If you are single and have had cancer, you have ...

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  • NO FREE LUNCH What You Need to Know About Having a Sex Life After Prostate Cancer

    Robotic prostatectomy. Proton-beam therapy. High-intensity focused ultrasound. These are some of the new methods used by surgeons and oncologists to treat prostrate cancer. Many men who undergo these treatments are promised that their sexual function will be unaffected. Those who experience sexual ...

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  • NO ERECTION, NO AFFECTION Five Ways to Restore Intimacy

    Men who have erectile dysfunction (ED) often complain about the loss of sex, especially if ED is the result of cancer or other medical illness. There is good reason why this happens: men with ED typically withhold such gestures as giving kisses, holding hands, or even grabbing a feel in the kitchen....

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  • Use It or Lose It? What We Don’t Know about Keeping the Vagina Healthy

    Perhaps the most common sexual problem after cancer treatment for women is vaginal dryness and pain. Even among healthy women, over half experience these symptoms after they go through menopause. Without estrogen, the vagina loses some of its blood supply. Spongy tissues in the vulva and vaginal ...

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  • Women Won’t Take a Pill to Prevent Breast Cancer–Really Guys?

    About 70% of women with breast cancer have tumors that are sensitive to hormones. Hormones, especially estrogen, enter the cancer cells and signal them to grow and divide. Hormone therapy is a treatment for breast cancer that prevents estrogen from “feeding” the cancer cells. Many women ...

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  • Got Low T? You Need Morbidity Max!

    Testosterone has been in the news in the last several months. In October 2013 the New York Times published an article, “A Push to Sell Testosterone Gels Troubles Doctors.”  It touched on two of my pet peeves—the gross exaggeration of the benefits of testosterone replacement ...

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  • Cancer and Sexual Problems

    For over 30 years of my career, I have worked to help people prevent or overcome sexual problems related to their cancer treatment. It has often been an uphill struggle to convince hospital administrators, grant reviewers, and health professionals that these problems are important. In 2014 there are...

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