(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has released new recommendations for obstetricians/gynecologists to help identify and treat common gynecologic side effects of treatments for breast cancer. Practice Bulletin #126 is published in the March 2012 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The recommendations address both short- and long-term side effects of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, premature menopause, loss of fertility, body-image problems, and sexual dysfunction, including loss of sex drive and dyspareunia.

Some of the therapies that can help women prevent or alleviate health problems and concerns following treatment for breast cancer include vaginal lubricants, lifestyle changes such as diet and relaxation techniques, or medication. Also addressed is the use of antidepressants for women who cannot take hormone therapy following estrogen-sensitive breast cancer and contraception and pregnancy in those who either wish to prevent or become pregnant.

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