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Sex and Body Image After a Double Mastectomy

 Written by 10 year Cancer survivor: Janet Lowell

Discover how to navigate intimacy and embrace your sexuality after a double mastectomy. From rebuilding confidence in your body to exploring new ways to feel sexy, this comprehensive guide offers insight and strategies to help you reclaim your sexual identity and find joy in your intimate relationships.

Rediscovering Self-Love

Embracing Change

Learn to appreciate the beauty and strength of your changed body. Focus on self-care, explore body-positive resources and connect with support groups to boost self-esteem and foster self-love.

Redefining Sensuality

Discover sensual experiences beyond traditional ideas of physical appearance. Focus on connecting with your partner through emotional intimacy, exploring touch, and creating new ways to experience pleasure.

Exploring Body-Affirming Practices

Engage in activities that promote body acceptance and help you reconnect with your physical self. Practices such as yoga, meditation, art therapy, or journaling can cultivate a positive relationship with your body.

Embracing Femininity

Creating a Personal Style

Explore fashion options, from beautiful lingerie to clothing that accentuates your best features. Embrace your unique style to feel confident and express your femininity.

Alternative Solutions

Consider breast forms, prosthetics, or reconstructive surgery options if they align with your personal preferences. Make informed decisions that allow you to feel comfortable and empowered.

Supportive Relationships

Surround yourself with understanding and supportive individuals who value you for who you are. Seek emotional and physical support from loved ones, support groups, and counseling services.

Chemotherapy can affect fertility, but exploring options such as fertility preservation before treatment and assisted reproductive technologies afterward can provide hope and empowerment.

Seek Expert Advice

Consult a fertility specialist to discuss potential fertility preservation techniques, including egg or embryo freezing. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation.Cultivate open and honest communication with your partner regarding your desires, fears, and boundaries. Prioritize mutual understanding and respect.  Consider incorporating sexual aids, lubricants, or other intimacy-enhancing products to enhance pleasure and overcome any physical challenges. Discover non-physical forms of intimacy, such as intellectual connection, humor, and shared hobbies. These aspects nurture emotional closeness and create a strong foundation for a satisfying relationship.

Reinventing Romance

Experiment with new ways of expressing your love and affection for each other. Surprise your partner with thoughtful gestures, plan romantic dates, or explore new shared interests together.Focus on deepening emotional connections through deep conversations, shared experiences, and acts of kindness. Strengthening emotional bonds can lead to a more fulfilling and intimate partnership. 

Engage in therapy, either individually or as a couple, to address any emotional or psychological challenges related to body image, sexuality, or infertility. A qualified counselor can guide you through the process of healing and growth.Research and seek out therapists who specialize in cancer survivorship, body image issues, or couples counseling. Look for professionals with experience in navigating the complexities of post-mastectomy intimacy . 

Delve into the world of erotic art and literature that celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes. This exploration can help to redefine your perception of beauty and sensuality.reconnect with your body and express your sensuality in a positive and empowering way.


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before cancer.....

Before my breast cancer diagnosis, I was incredibly shallow. I was obsessed with my appearance and always striving to live up to the model image I had created for myself. I even dreamed of posing for Playboy one day. But after a double mastectomy, I am now so self-conscious that I can hardly recognize myself. It took me almost a month to look down at my chest after the surgery. I cried and cried for hours in the bathroom, wondering how this could be happening to me. I had always been so confident in my body, and now I felt like a stranger in my own skin. As a mother, I struggled with how to teach my daughter to be confident when I was struggling so much myself. How could I tell her to love herself when I didn't even recognize myself anymore? I was grateful for my surgeon's skilled hands and for getting the cancer out, but I hated the results. When people say that a mastectomy is not a boob job, they are right. The scars and the fact that I will never have sensation again at 34

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