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Aromatase Inhibitors Linked to Low Sexual Desire, Bowel Problems

Feb 19, 2018

Unfortunately, AIs do have sexual side effects. Estrogen is an important hormone for women’s sexual health, but because AIs greatly reduce the supply, many women experience vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, and menopausal symptoms.

For a Journal of Sexual Medicine study, researchers wanted to know how AIs affect a woman’s sexual desire, pelvic floor muscles, urinary function, and bowel movements. They also questioned how much AIs might contribute to pelvic organ prolapse, when a woman’s pelvic organs “drop” into her vagina.

They asked 625 women ranging in age from 36 to 96 to complete questionnaires about their health and any sexual distress they might feel. The women had been diagnosed with breast cancer at least ten years earlier, and about 85% had hormone receptor positive cancer. Thirteen percent were still taking an AI or tamoxifen at the time of the questionnaire.

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