Sexuality encompasses how a person perceives, feels and thinks about themselves as sexual beings; Therefore, it is very personal and unique to each individual (via the University of Louisville). During cancer treatment, sexual function can be impaired for a number of reasons. Patients are subject to psychological and physical changes that may affect their desire or ability to function sexually. Additionally, the drug’s side effects, such as fatigue, pain, and digestive issues, play a significant role in decreased libido, according to the American Cancer Society.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that men are prone to sexual dysfunction and loss of libido after treatment due to damage to blood vessels, nerves, or changes in hormone levels. The risk of these side effects is determined by the type of chemotherapy or other cancer treatment used, and the location and type of cancer. Men may also experience emotional side effects during and after treatment, such as: B. Concerns about her appearance or fear of not being able to please her partner.
Like men, women are emotionally affected by cancer and chemotherapy. However, the physical side effects are different. Chemotherapy can predispose women to yeast infections, vaginal dryness, and vaginal wall thinning. Sex in these situations can be painful and reduce desire for sex (via the American Cancer Society).
Before beginning chemotherapy or any other treatment, it’s important to discuss how the treatment will affect your sex life and what treatment options or medications may help improve your libido.