Cancer treatment can cause many changes in a person’s body, some of which have a direct impact on sex. Enjoying
a healthy and pleasurable sex life is an achievable goal. There are a number of steps you can take to speed the
First, it is important to understand and accept what you have been through, and to be able to talk with your partner about it.
The National Cancer Institute has published some excellent information and advice for cancer survivors in a booklet called,
“Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment.” The section on body changes and intimacy including suggestions about how to talk
with your partner is available here: Cancer Topics:
Life After Treatment.
If you want to take things gradually, one way to get back into a relaxed and positive frame of mind is to ask your partner to
try out some of the wonderful scented and flavored massage oils that are available. You can start with simple relaxing massages
and later agree to let them become more and more erotic. A key step is to get physical with your partner even if you delay
traditional sex for a while.
Sometimes the physical side-effects of chemotherapy cause problems that get in the way of easily resuming a good sex life.
For example, a very common result of chemotherapy for breast cancer is vaginal dryness that persists long after the treatment
has ended. This can lead to pain during sex or reduce the pleasure that one normally expects to experience. A simple, but
effective solution to this problem, is to keep personal lubricants handy to use before and during sex.
Condoms and Other Sexual Health Products
It is important to use water-based lubricants or silicon-based lubricants if condoms are also being used. These are generally
the most popular types of lubricants used to enhance the experience of sex whether someone has had cancer or not, and they even
come in a variety of fragrances and flavors. Oil-based lubricants can be useful as well, and if condoms are unnecessary, a
combination of an oil-based lubricant followed by a water-based variety can be particular effective for some couples.
Try a variety of approaches and products to see which works best. This experimentation will be helpful in figuring out what gives
you the most pleasure, and the experiments themselves might be more fun than you expect!
There is an astonishing variety of personal lubricants, massage oils, condoms, and other sexual health products avaiable for
purchase online. You can shop with complete privacy and security from your own home and get discrete delivery to your front door, usually
at prices far below retail. Visit the following links for more information about what is available:
No one source of information is adequate to help with all the possible sexual problems that may be caused by cancer and its
treatment. This website is a good starting point to discover information sources and products you can access on your own, in
the privacy of your own home, that may be helpful as you explore both yourself and your relationships with other people in
your new after-cancer life.