Sex and Women with Cancer: Overview

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Sex and Women With Cancer: Overview

This is a shorter, easier-to-read version of Sexuality for the Woman With Cancer. For the more detailed version, call 1-800-227-2345. Or read it online at

Sex is an important part of life. It affects our zest for life and how we think of ourselves. Yet doctors and patients often don’t talk about how cancer treatment will affect a person’s sex life.

You might have started to wonder what will happen with your sex life. But you may not feel OK talking about it. Even just reading about sex here may seem a little strange at first.

The facts here are for all women who have or had cancer. We hope it will help you learn more about cancer and sex, and help you start talking with your partner, doctor, and cancer team about your sex life and any problems you might have.

Just what is “normal” anyway?

People think about sex in different ways, and they have sex in different ways, too. This makes it hard to say what’s normal. Normal for you and your partner is whatever feels right to both of you.

It’s also normal to want sex as you get older. Many men and women keep having sex until the end of their lives. It’s true that age may change your sexual response. But if you want to keep your sex life active, you probably can.

Last Medical Review: 05/09/2013
Last Revised: 05/09/2013