Sex, intimacy and breast cancer

feet in bed

Being diagnosed with breast cancer and having treatment will almost certainly affect how you feel about sex and intimacy.

You may not feel like having sex or being intimate at a time when you’re dealing with breast cancer, or you may find that sex helps you feel more normal during an uncertain time.

How breast cancer affects you sexually will be unique to you.

Sex and the effects of breast cancer treatment

Treatments for breast cancer can have physical and emotional effects that can affect sex and sexual desire.

For example, some treatments can cause pain and sensitivity, while others can lead to menopausal symptoms, such as vaginal dryness.

Find out more about how breast cancer treatment can affect sex and intimacy.

Getting back to sex after breast cancer

You may be anxious about your first sexual experience following your diagnosis, or worried things will not be the same as before.

These worries are normal and it may take time for you to feel comfortable having sex again.

You can read our tips on getting back to sex after breast cancer treatment.

Intimate relationships and breast cancer

Breast cancer can also affect intimate relationships with partners. If you’re in a relationship, you may find that it changes after a breast cancer diagnosis. Or you may be worried about starting a relationship in the future.

Find out how breast cancer might affect intimate relationships.

Changes to your body

Any changes to your body that you’ve experienced, for example after surgery, can affect your confidence and feelings about yourself. This in turn can affect how you feel about sex, how you relate to a partner or how your partner relates to you.

Find out more about changes to your body after treatment.

Last reviewed: June 2016
Next planned review begins 2018

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