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Talking about sex and chemotherapy

Nurse and patients talking about cancer

This page has information on talking about how chemotherapy can affect your sex life. There is information about


What to ask

If you are worried that chemotherapy might affect your sex life, it is important to talk to your doctor or clinical nurse specialist before your treatment starts. They will be able to tell you

  • The general side effects to expect from your treatment
  • How the side effects might affect your sex life

Try not to feel uncomfortable about discussing sexual problems with your doctor or nurse. If sex is an important part of your life, you need to know about any possible changes. Discuss your feelings and any worries with your partner too. Even though there's only a small chance you will have problems with sex, your partner may feel worried. Your partner could go with you if you decide to have a chat with your doctor or clinical nurse specialist.


Who you can talk to

If you would like to talk to someone outside your own friends and family, look at the general organisations page for counselling and information organisations. There are details of organisations that help with relationships and sexuality issues. Some of these organisations have factsheets that they can send to you. To find out more about counselling look in our what is counselling section.

There is detailed information about cancer and sex in our coping with cancer section.

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Updated: 18 April 2013