Source: Cancer Resource Room
can cause changes in your sexual relationships.
These changes can be caused by physical
or emotional issues. There are steps that
you, your doctor, and your partner can
take to help you continue to have close
How Your Sexuality May Be Affected
Here are some physical challenges
that may affect your physical relationships.
- Surgical treatments can damage nerves.
This includes the nerves that are
needed to feel sexual pleasure.
- Medications to manage pain or depression
can make you lose your desire for
- Treatments, such as chemotherapy and
radiation therapy, can cause side
effects like fatigue or nausea. This
can affect your ability and desire
to have physical relationships.
Here are some emotional challenges that
may affect your physical relationships.
- Feeling anxious, nervous, or unhappy,
may make you lose your sexual desire.
- Changes to your body may make you
feel unattractive. For example, you
may have lost your hair, gained or
lost weight, or had a surgical treatment
that changes the way your body looks.
Tubes and drains can also affect body
- Your partner may be nervous and not
know what to do. He or she may be
afraid of hurting you.
Talk With Your Doctor
Your sexuality is important. When you
and your doctor are planning your treatment,
you should discuss ways to keep up physical
relationships. For example:
- If you need surgery that can affect
the nerves that control sexual pleasure,
ask if the surgery can spare the nerves.
- If medications have made you lose
your desire for sex, ask if they can
be changed or replaced with different
- Tell your doctor about any side effects
from cancer treatment.
- Ask about treatments to increase
sexual desire, such as Viagra or estrogen
Talk With Your Partner
Talking with your partner is very important.
You are dealing with major changes in
your lives right now. Talk about how you
feel, both physically and emotionally.
Encourage your partner to talk about what
he or she is feeling. Together, sort through
your fears and worries. Once they are
out in the open, you will be able to handle
them just as you have handled other challenges
in your relationship.
When intercourse is not possible, rethink
“sex” and be more creative.
You can be close by touching, manual stimulation,
cuddling and holding. Most importantly,
focus on all of the positive parts of
your life together. Continue to love and
support each other
To Search Pub Med, please see below.
and selected health professional journals
& Education Programs
We know that being diagnosed with cancer can be stressful for you and your
family. We offer a variety of cancer support services to help patients and
families gain the support and information they will need to meet the challenges
To find support and education workshops,
and wellness services offered this month,
please view the HOPES