Radiation induced menopause

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[Ana & Alex]
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:14 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Radiation induced menopause

Postby [Ana & Alex] » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:08 pm

Dear fellow ladies post radiation therapy,
I too have hit menopause with 29. What bothers me the most is the colateral damage in my lady parts...

I'm bumping this topic because I can't seem to find an answer to a relatively simple question regarding vaginal rehabilitation after treatment.
I will tell you my story and I would be really grateful for some insight you may have regarding my situation.

It has been really difficult to find information about this topic, none of my doctors has expertise in the area, my radiooncologist and gyn are ignorant regarding this thematic and I'm lost.

Weren't for the advice from our dear weisssoccermom I would still be waiting until this day.

So.. here it goes...
I had radiation in February/ March and have begun during this period with premarin creme and dilation.
Then until surgery I kept up with it 2-3x a week. I was able to have sex (patiently) and a pap smear in that time...

My surgery has followed on 10th May. And since then I have tried to have sex once but it was too painful. The simple aplication of tampon or an ovula is also painful.

It will be six weeks this week after my surgery and I'm already on chemo until November. I don't want to wait any longer, because I'm afraid it will get much worse.

How did you proceed after surgery?

How long did you wait until starting the premarin I.e. starting dilation I.e. having sex?

Were you able to keep up the rehabilitation during chemo?

I'm starting today with premarin ovula everyday for two weeks, then afterwards I'm planning to start 2 - 3 x a week premarin plus dilation.

Good plan?
Thank you so much for your insight!

29 yo. Mum (21 Mo) & Wife

12/2016: Dx Rectum AdenoCa G2 4 cm ab ano. CEA 4.3. RAS Wildtyp. MSS. IIIB.
01 - 03/2017: 28 RTx + CHT 2500 mg/d Capecitabine
03 - 06/2017: Suplemments and Cimetidine.
05/2017: TME/TAMIS + permanent Colostomy CEA 0.5
05/2017: ypT2N2aM0 (4/15), very good cRP, limited pCR
06 - 11/2017: 2 full x CapOx w/ 230mg + 3500 mg/d. 1x Oxi reduced to 80% (167mg) (4 to go)

Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:28 am
Location: Pfafftown, NC

Re: Radiation induced menopause

Postby Aqx99 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:22 pm

Lucky me, my surgeon poked a hole in my vagina during surgery. He discharged me with the instructions of nothing in the vagina for 3 months, to let it heal. I go in September to see my radiation oncologist and she is going to do a pelvic to assess my vagina. I wish I could be more help.
Female, 39
Stage IIIB Rectal Cancer
Diagnosed at age 39
2/21/17 diagnosis
3/23/17 - 5/2/17 Chemoradiation, 28 treatments
6/14/17 Robotic LAR with temp loop ileostomy, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, 2/21 lymph nodes positive
7/24/17 Starting CapOx
CEA at diagnosis 0.9

Posts: 5726
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 2:32 pm
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Radiation induced menopause

Postby weisssoccermom » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:50 pm

The Premarin will help bring some 'elasticity' to the vaginal canal BUT....scar tissue has already formed and after that happens, Premarin won't work the same as it would have if it had been used DURING and AFTER radiation.

Once the scar tissue forms in the vaginal canal, it is difficult, if not impossible to break/stretch those adhesions, but don't give up. Things may not be what they were beforehand BUT......with a lot of work, they can get a little better.

For ladies reading this.....IF you are just starting chemoradiation PLEASE PLEASE....DO NOT WAIT until after treatment to begin dilation and a treatment with a cream like Premarin. Most rad oncs/oncologists, etc. don't really pay much attention to this issue.....their reason....it's not a part of their treatment and is 'inconsequential'. However, to the female patient, regardless of age.....the adhesions and scar tissue is anything but 'inconsequential'. It's more than just dealing with our sex life.....it's dealing with the pain, with our sexuality, being able to get pelvic exams, etc. DON'T allow the scar tissue/adhesions to form.....DO SOMETHING PROACTIVELY....PLEASE DON'T WAIT.
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
Perform random acts of kindness

Posts: 887
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:58 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Radiation induced menopause

Postby Cj51 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:18 pm

I second Weisscoccermom's advice. Don't wait! I didn't find this forum and her advice till it was too late for me. My gyno opened my vagina during surgery but it still healed closed again. No more Pap tests for me, and sex is painful and rare. I really wish I'd have known then what I know now.

Regarding hot flashes, I'd been taking Fluoxetine (generic Prozac) 10 mg once a day for years, for PMDD. After the radiation did my ovaries in, I figured I could stop. That's when the hot flashes started, so I started it up again. Hot flashes became rare, and much less severe when they did happen. They're inexpensive, too.

Good luck!
DX Stage IIIb RC, T3N1M0, April 2010, 51
6 wks Xelox/rad 6/10
resection, temp illeostomy 8/10 Complete response!
12 rounds FOLFOX for clean up 9/10, Allergic to Oxi, started Xeloda only 12/10
Ileo takedown 9/28/11
10/15 NED

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