Question about Sex

Hi everyone

I haven’t posted on here in a while. I’ve popped on a few times to see any updates/progress.

I feel incredibly selfish for what I am about to write because this is not a cc related question, and so many of you are dealing with such bigger issues. I am also aware of the devastating bushfires going on in my country at the moment. Anyway, here goes because I have been wanting to write this for a while and don’t know who better to ask than all of you.

Quick overview of my story. Diagnosed with CC 2B with node involvement back in April 2016, finished treatment Nov 2016 and have had all clears since then (thankfully). I had chemoradiation and brachytherapy.

At the time, I was pregnant with my daughter and my long-term partner (father of my daughter) left shortly after my diagnosis. I have never heard from him again.

I am at a point in my life where I am finally moving forward with my career again, starting to see my friends again, and of course very fortunate to be raising my daughter. All my friends are married or getting married and starting families. I find myself in lots of social situations now where people ask if I’m dating / going to have more babies (I can’t) etc. All the usual questions.

I want to know if I will ever be able to be in a relationship again? Sexually?
Recently someone I have known for a while asked me out but I completely had to put a firm no to that because I just do not know what my body is capable of now.

The next part is a lot of information. I am usually good with using the dilators consistently (never go past size 2), however, recently I had a break for a month using it. Then I did use it the other night for the first time in a month, it was a little struggle but then it was fine. But for the next few days, my lady parts were aching. I was in agony, I could barely go to the toilet. It felt all swollen and bruised, and internally felt very sore. It was weird though, because when I used the dilator, I didn’t experience any pain.

I guess I just want to know if it is possible to have sex and enjoy it after radiation?

I have asked my oncologist what the length of my vagina is like, and he said that it actually seemed a normal length to him. But I feel it is definitely narrowed, as well as the issue of skin elasticity. I will ask at my next appointment what the possibility of having sex is? I guess I am usually more concerned about everything being normal looking/feeling that I haven’t really had the sex conversation with my oncologist.

I feel like I will never be able to be in a relationship or experience love, and it does get me down. I think it is especially hard at the moment as all my friends are married or getting married. I am so happy for them but I just feel that I will be alone forever (sorry feeling sorry for myself) and I am only 31. Sometimes I feel like it is a disability that no one can see. Sexual dysfunction.

I just want to know if I can even consider a relationship or if I just need to move on with my life as single mum and make it the best life for my daughter.

Can anyone share their experiences or advice for me?

Thank you for reading.

Sending all the love and good vibes to you all.

(P.s. I can never write short posts)

Rosie xx

1 Like

I am sure lots of women will be interested in your question so thanks for posting it as I am sure it took courage.

I don't think you will have any trouble resuming a love life as you can clearly be examined. You really need to persist with the dilators and maybe source things that are a bit more interesting! 

Are you on HRT? If not oestrogen cream will help a lot in making tissues more supple.

I only have a very short vagina constructed from thigh muscle and it's fine. A lot of it is about what's going on in your head as much as physically. So if you are keen,  you can do it!

Karen x 

Hi Rosie, 

I am so sorry that you have been through so much on top of the cancer. 

I am also 31 , I've had a hysterectomy and rad/brac therapy. I finished my treatment in December.

I think you will be able to have sex again no problem! If you find someone that you like, you need to be honest with them so that you can fully trust them. Tell them your likes and dislikes and explain what has happened and the side effects from the treatment. The right person will relax you and just ask them to take things slowly and stop if it feels uncomfortable. 

You are further down the line than me but I met my partner a few days before I was told I had cancer. We have had sex throughout my radiotherapy and to be honest it's better than before! 

I am okay without lubrication but there are loads of things you can get to help ease you in. Maybe try with a sex toy to begin with to ease yourself in? 

I hope this helps.....the right guy will come along and it'll get easier in time xxxxx

1 Like

Rosie, thanks for posting it's always good to see someone who had lymph node involvement doing well . I ended treatment 5 months ago and have yet to have sex and I have a boyfriend. I just have no sex drive and the menopause has me so dry. I use tons of lube when I use my dilators which I use two to three times a week, but I have to be slow and gentle and not really thrust them too much or it still gets irritated and raw. I feel like my vagina shortened up a pinch and feel like sex would irritate it, but I know I'm gonna have to try it one of these days lol. I just turned 34 2 weeks ago, they're  going to test my blood in February and see about HRT , so hopefully that might help me, especially with dryness. I know it can be tasking but try to stick to using your dilators,even if only once or twice a week.