This post is sponsored by Lubrigyn, but all opinions are my own! When you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you have one thought and one goal in mind: survive. You summon your courage and face the trials and tribulations of this disease. You undergo whatever treatment that you and your doctor decide is necessary to eradicate the cancer with the goal of coming out the other side victorious. Only then do you allow yourself to give another thought to the other aspects of your life, such as your love life and intimacy. After your body goes through the terrible experience of being diagnosed with and fighting cancer, the last thing you may want to think about is sex. It’s challenging to feel desirable after feeling sick for so long. But breast cancer doesn’t have to mean the end of your life as you’ve known it. As a matter of fact, the sooner you can get back to regular activities, including your sex life, the sooner you will feel “normal’ again. “A lot of women I see are afraid to have sex,” Jean Carter, PhD, licensed psychologist and the sexual health counselor for the sexual health program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center told WebMD. “They’re really struggling. And it’s a shame, because there are wonderful, simple strategies to improve your sexual experience that, taken together, can work wonders.” Enjoy being intimate with your partner again with these 4 tips. Keep Lines of Communication Open You might feel embarrassed or afraid to talk to your partner about how breast cancer and treatment have affected your sex drive. Keeping the lines of communication open during and after your treatment allows your partner to better understand what you’re going through. It’s helpful to both of you to discuss your feelings and what’s happening with both your mind and your body, whether it’s worry that sex will be different or that you’re not feeling attractive. Be open to your partner’s support. When you do feel ready to be intimate again, have an open and honest dialogue about how to approach this new phase of your life together. Start Slowly After a sexual hiatus, you don’t want to jump back into things too quickly, especially since your body is still recovering from treatments and/or surgeries. While you may feel the urge to pretend your teenagers again, it’s a good idea to start slow and ease back into things. Remember, intercourse is not the only way to intimately enjoy each other’s company. Kissing, cuddling and gentle massages are wonderful ways to physically connect. Let your partner know what feels good and what does not, and you’re sure to find pleasure in this area of your life again. Try Exercise Your body (and mind) undergo a lot during treatment for breast cancer. It’s no secret that cancer treatment is extremely hard on your body, and you might not feel as confident as you previously did. Maybe you’ve lost your hair, had your breasts removed or had reconstructive surgery. A great way to get your groove back mentally and physically is to get moving. In the beginning this can be as simple as taking daily walks. As you feel stronger and healthier, you might want to try different exercise formats like running, weight lifting, dancing or Pilates. Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that increase your happiness. Not only will you feel better mentally and emotionally, but getting your body back in shape will increase your confidence in how you look as well. This makes a big difference when it comes to being intimate again. The better you feel about yourself, the more open you’ll be to enjoying your sex life once again. Keep Your Intimate Area Healthy Intimacy is more enjoyable when you’re feeling healthy and hydrated from head to toe, but breast cancer treatments may cause changes in your vaginal area, such as increased dryness (from fluctuations in estrogen levels). Scrap the soap and body washes from your intimate cleansing routine; they can contain harsh ingredients that can be damaging and uncomfortable to your delicate vaginal tissue. Italy’s #1 choice in feminine care, Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion, is made with hyaluronic acid and elastin, which have been proven to help with vaginal dryness. This pH-balanced cream cleanses while it moisturizes, thanks for natural ingredients including sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and aloe vera. “Vulvar dryness is common after breast cancer treatments. To hydrate your sensitive tissues, as well as cleanse, I always recommend Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion for all-day comfort,” says Dr. Michael Krychman, gynecologist and sexual health expert. Adding Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion to your routine is sure to help you feel sexier. Are you ready to take control of your vaginal health, improve dryness and be intimate once again? Try the Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion today with a $5 off coupon on lubrigynusa.com. Allegra Gallian is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in lifestyle, health, wellness and fitness. She lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. When she’s not writing, Allegra enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family.