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Abdominal or pelvic radiotherapy side effects

You might have side effects such as diarrhoea and bladder irritation if you're having radiotherapy to the pelvic area (area in between your hips) or abdomen (tummy).

This page is about short term side effects. 

Diarrhoea

It is normal to have diarrhoea during or after radiotherapy to your abdomen or pelvis. You might also have stomach cramps and wind.

Sickness and weight loss

Radiotherapy to the abdomen can make you feel and be sick. This might last for a few weeks after the treatment. This sickness may cause you to lose weight. 

Bladder irritation and pain

Having radiotherapy to the pelvis might affect your bladder and make you feel as though you need to pass urine more than usual. Find out about what you can do to help with this. 

Pain

You might have pain after radiotherapy to the pelvis. This can happen some time after your radiotherapy has finished.

Women's sex life and fertility

Radiotherapy to your lower abdomen or pelvis can affect your fertility and sex life.

Men's sex life and fertility

Radiotherapy to your lower abdomen or pelvis can affect your fertility and sex life. Problems can include pain during ejaculation and difficulty getting an erection.

Last reviewed: 
11 Nov 2020
Next review due: 
11 Nov 2023
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