Decorative image

Your sex life

Treatment for laryngeal cancer can change the way you feel about sex.

A laryngectomy changes the way you speak, breathe and your physical appearance. These changes can make you feel less confident about sex. It can also change the way you feel about yourself and how you think others see you. 

Cancer can also cause many different emotions such as fear and anger. These emotions might affect how you feel about sex. Your partner might also feel very strong emotions. It is very common to have difficulty with intimacy and sex after cancer treatment.

You can consider:

  • letting your partner know how you are feeling
  • letting your doctor or specialist nurse know how you feel

Communication might be difficult for you after treatment. If your specialist nurse knows how you're feeling, they might be able to provide some support or suggest where you can find support. Or, one of the laryngeal cancer support organisations might be able to help.

Communication

Speech or communication difficulties can affect how you feel about sex. It might feel like it's a lot of effort and it might change some of the spontaneous moments that you and your partner are used to. 

Eye contact and touch might be alternative ways to show feelings if speech is difficult. 

Kissing

Some people's partners worry that they can catch cancer from others by kissing. But cancer can't be caught from somebody else. So you can reassure them. 

It is safe for you and your partner to kiss and have any type of physical contact that you feel comfortable with. 

Sex and cancer

You can read more about how cancer can affect your sex life in our section about sex and cancer.

Last reviewed: 
07 Aug 2018
  • The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures

    L. Dougherty and S. Lister, 9th edition, 2015

Information and help