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.
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.
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.