A cancer diagnosis can bring physical and emotional changes affecting your relationship with your body and your sexual health. More than 80% of women with cancer experience sexual side effects from treatment, and these symptoms can be temporary or long-lasting. During recovery, it is not uncommon to have concerns about body image and new symptoms such as painful sex, and changes in desire.
The below video is the best, most comprehensive resource on sex and cancer that we have found and features cancer experts discussing topics that include:
- Getting Your (Sex) Life Back: Tips for Early Menopause and Painful Sex After Cancer Treatment
- What to Expect During Radiation Treatment and How to Manage Short and Long-Term Side Effects
- Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and Pelvic Pain
- Communication and Counseling Resources, Psychological Concerns that Arise with Changes in Your Sexual Health
- Steams, Lasers, Libido Pills, and “Alternative” Treatments: What is Safe After Cancer?
Please note that HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is safe for most but not all types of ovarian cancer. Low-grade serous ovarian cancer is one example where HRT could make the cancer worse. Please check with your oncologist first.
For more information on sex and cancer:
- Follow cancer surgeon @music_sexaftercancer on instagram
- Visit the Australia Pelvic Pain Foundation
- Watch expert pelvic floor physiotherapist Dr Jilly Bond’s talks on Pelvic Pain and DIY pelvic therapy including using a pelvic wand (we strongly recommend consulting a pelvic physio in person before attempting any DIY therapy).
- Watch Ovarian Cancer Australia webinar Love in the time of cancer
- Ask 200 Questions with Sex with Cancer website
- Watch OCRA’s Sexual Intimacy After Cancer with Oncology Counsellor Dr Sage Bolt (2020) or Oncology Social Worker Jennifer Bires (2021)
- Watch Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Webinar the 411 on Sexual Changes After Cancer with Sexuality Counsellor and Clinical Nurse Specialist Anne Katz
- Read a NZ company’s guide to products including dilators, lubricants and vibrators
- Can’t find a particular product? Check out Nelson physiotherapist Restore’s shop
Find a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist near you:
- Invercargill – Anna Thompson Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
- Central Otago – Pelvic Solutions
- Dunedin – The Core Centre
- Timaru – Santė Beasant at Active Health (once a month)
- Christchurch – Maree Frost at Intus
- Blenheim – Restore Physiotherapy
- Wellington – Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
- Taupo/Tauranga/Cambridge – Dr Melissa Davidson
- Cambridge – Body Performance Megan Drummond
- Auckland – Auckland Physiotherapy, OneSixOne Medical Group, Pelvic Floor Physio, Positively Pelvic