Intimacy after cancer
I wrote yesterday on the subject of body image and how we perceive ourselves in a seemingly image obsessed world. Once a woman has been treated for cancer, she may develop a negative body image as a result of surgeries, or because of scarring. It is natural to have a difficult time accepting changes to the body and this can impact on a woman’s ability to be intimate with her partner and reconnect with her sexuality.
During treatment, the physical side-effects and fatigue can mean that sexuality may take a back seat to the work of getting better again. Of course this doesn’t mean that intimacy is lost. In fact many find that they are even more intimate with their partners and have developed an even closer bond through the shared experience of cancer.
When treatment is over the full emotional and psychological impact of a diagnosis of cancer can really hit us and this can also impact on our sexuality as we strive to get back to normal. Hormonal treatments can also play a part in lessening sexual desire. For those interesting in learning more about the effects of cancer and its aftermath on sexuality and intimacy, there is an excellent patient information booklet available online. Intimacy and Sexuality for Cancer Patients and their Partners is available from the website Journey Through Life.
Download a pdf version by clicking on this link.