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Talking about sex and chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can sometimes affect your sex life. Talk to your doctor or cancer nurse before your treatment starts, if you're worried about this.

They’ll be able to tell you:

  • the general side effects to expect from your treatment
  • how these 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 nurse.

Other help and support

You or your partner could also contact an organisation that helps with relationships and sexuality issues. Some of these organisations have useful factsheets that they can send to you.

Last reviewed: 
28 Feb 2018
  • Intimacy & Sexuality for Cancer Patients and their Partners a Booklet of Tips & Ideas for your Journey of Recovery
    Dr. D Brandenburg, L Grover, and B Quinn
    NHS Pan-Birmingham Cancer Psychology Services, 2010

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