women, sex and cancer

Women, Sex and Cancer

Cancer treatments can have an impact on your sex life.  As a woman, having an understanding of changes that you may experience during the course of your care can help to prepare you and to ease your concerns.

Reproductive Issues

If you are in your reproductive years you should speak to your oncologist, before you begin treatment, about its possible impact on your fertility. Preserving fertility is a viable option in many cases.  It is important to discuss the options available to preserve fertility. women, sex and cancer

Pain or Discomfort During Intercourse

Pain or discomfort during intercourse can also be problematic for some women going through cancer treatment.

Here are some suggestions should this be an issue:

  •  Vaginal lubricants

There are natural vaginal lubricants on the market.  Seek out companies that offer organic oil or water based products.  These will help to increase the comfort of sexual activity.

Coconut oil may also be of use not only as a lubricant but also as an external vaginal moisturizer.

  • Pelvic floor therapy

Pelvic floor therapy for women is a type of physiotherapy that helps with relaxation to loosen tight, tender vaginal muscles resulting in reduced pain during intercourse.

  • Vaginal dilators

Vaginal dilators can help to relieve pain during penetration. They function to stretch the vagina and reduce tightness. They can be used in combination with pelvic floor therapy.


Additional side effects of cancer treatments that can inhibit your ability to enjoy sex include low libido, nausea and fatigue.

It is important to understand that in most cases side effects will be remedied once your treatments are completed.

It is also very important that you keep an open dialogue with your partner during this time.  Speaking to someone with experience in this area may be beneficial both individually and as a couple.

And do remember this.  Intimacy with your partner can be experience in ways other than sexual if, for the time being, a sexual relationship cannot be enjoyed.



This Week on The Health Hub…Building Healthy Relationships with Jonathan Thomas

Jonathan Thomas is a Life & Relationship Coach in Toronto and throughout the GTA. Working with clients on a wide range of topics such as anxiety, depression, job performance/fulfillment, love/relationships, overall happiness, and sport performance.  Jonathan’s coaching methods and techniques can help any person looking to make a positive change in their life. For over 10 years (2007-2017) Jonathan helped clients reach their fitness goals as an in-home personal trainer. This decade of training experience consisted predominantly of being welcomed into people’s homes and seeing what life was like for clients at their most open, true, and unguarded state.  Jonathan became aware of the complexity of the human mind and all the barriers and catalysts of change.  By witnessing and helping hundreds of clients (many of them husbands and wives) attempt to make changes in their lives, in-home personal training awakened his passion and skill for life and relationship coaching.  It was not in his or his clients’ successes, but in their failures and struggles where he became a firm believer that there was always a way to break through no matter the person or situation.  Being armed with the desire to learn and discover more about human behavior and why people do the things they do, Jonathan has built and continues to build a variety of ways to help enrich, enhance and add value to his clients’ lives.

Learning Points:

  • What are some common issues that couples deal with?
  • Is marriage realistic in 2019?
  • How can couples cultivate healthy relationships?

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