Cancer affects your sex life in several ways
Many of our most common cancers, such as breast cancer, prostate and abdomen cancer, affect our sex life in a negative way – not only during the disease, but often also for a long time afterwards.
Between 25 and 50% of all people with cancer have some kind of chronic sexual problem. As more and more people are cured of cancer, these problems become an increasingly common issue.
All forms of cancer treatment can affect the sexual aspects of life, no matter what part of the body the cancer is in.
Several of Sweden’s county councils have noticed this and offer sexologist consultation in connection with cancer rehabilitation. It is important to ask your treating physician if the disease will have any sexual effects, and if so what.
Sexuality and cancer in brief
Libido, or sex drive, tends to disappear when cancer takes over a normal life. It may be harder to feel attractive to your partner. Stress and anxiety affect all kinds of drives, and the sex drive in particular. There are some tricks for rediscovering your libido. Read more about libido and sensuality.
We all have a need for bodily contact from birth. When we are not doing well, that need is greater than ever. Nevertheless, there is a risk that we pull away, or our partners will not dare to approach us for fear of not being welcome in the midst of the disease. Just a moment of bodily contact reduces worry and creates intimacy at the same time. Sensuality training is a method recommended by sexologists as a starting point when sex life and intimacy are absent.
Communicating feelings and needs to a partner is one of the most important factors for a good relationship. Many couples have difficulty talking about the innermost and most private issues, such as how they want sex to be. And of course, having a serious illness that affects your sex life negatively does not make the conversation any easier. Sometimes, talking to a third party can be very helpful.
After cancer treatment, sexual ability may deteriorate. Belladot offers several aids that can help. In case of problems with erection, an erectile pump and penis rings can be helpful. In case of reduced sensitivity after radiation treatment, a vibrator can be of help. Treatment with hormones, radiation and cytostatics can make the delicate mucous membranes of the genitals fragile. Here, a pH-balanced lubricant can be recommended.