medical-symbolIf you have a cancer diagnosis and treatment includes chemotherapy, treatment effects are broad and can impact sexual intimacy. Treatment effects while undergoing chemotherapy can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, mouth sores, stoma sores, and secondary illnesses related to a compromised immune system. Not surprisingly, most people are not interested in sexual relations while trying to manage these side effects.

If the abdomen and pelvis are treated with radiation, side effects can include fatigue to the point where sexual relations can become unimportant while undergoing therapy. There may be radiation-induced skin irritation which can cause discomfort during sexual relations. There can be difficulty urinating, the need to urinate frequently during the night, and blood in the urine. Like chemotherapy, there may be side effects of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The possibility of sterility needs to be addressed with your radiation oncologist prior to beginning treatments if you are interested in child-bearing.

If you are experiencing any of the described effects from chemotherapy or radiation therapy, it is important that you discuss them with your medical team so your symptoms can be managed.