Sexual side effects, both during and after breast cancer treatment, are common, said Jessica Pettigrew, M.S.N., C.N.M., co-director of the Women's Sexual Health Consultation Service at the University of Colorado Hospital.
"Women experience many changes in sexual function related to breast cancer treatment," Pettigrew said. "For many women, nipples are an erogenous zone and loss of this tissue can be a surprising challenge. Many women struggle with the surgical changes of their breasts and may feel a sense of betrayal from their body. In this sense, it can be hard to want to be sexually active and feel pleasure from a body that some women feel has betrayed them or caused physical or emotional pain."