sex after cancer

Hi everyone

I am 29 and nearly 2 years clear from cancer i had 1b2 with lymph nodes involved so had to have radio and chemo, after my treatement i was given the dialtors to use, at first i used them the first few months but i hated it so much and it use to hurt every time, then 5 months after finishing treatment i got the all clear and i just sort of stopped using the dialtors as i felt like everytime i would use them it would bring back all the memories and i just didnt want to think about it anymore and wanted to move on with my life. And i have regretted doing that as now my vagina has narrowed so only half the dilator goes in and its the 3rd biggest that i am using not even the bigger one, i have just started dating again and i have found a really nice guy, he doesnt know about any of this and im scared that we are not going to be able to have sex. i literally cant stop crying when i think about it, i mean who is going to want to be with someone who cant have sex at my age, let alone having to tell them i cant have babies. I try and be strong and i am so happy the cancer has gone but everytime i try and move forward i cant. I just really dont know what to do and i just dont feel like i have got anyone to talk to about it, is there a way of making my vagina bigger again? i will literally try anything.



Hi Maria,

Do you have access to a Macmillan nurse? I have found that they can be brilliant for practical helpful advice and counselling, whichever is most appropriate for you. If you don't know how to contact one, perhaps you can ask one of your gynae oncology team, somebody there should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck!


It's never too late, I left it a year after mybtreatment to use the dilators just for the reasons you have so skillfully described.

i asked my Macmillan Gyne nurse for help and was referred by my consultant at one of my check up appointments. A specialist used her fingers to gently separate my vagina where it was starting to stick together, after that I committed to using the dilators for a month, now I use them on e a week. It's a commitment and I hate doing it but I set the mood, shower, dark room, glass of wine and just get on with it. It works if you keep up with it.




You have been through so much, you can get through this. You need some help though. Macmillan will be able to advise you not only how to get your tush back into working order but also how to talk with your new man, if you want to. You are stronger than you think.......go for it. your  GP is another option or do you have a maggies centre nearby? They are a charity that offers all kinds of support to people who have or have had cancer. I know from reading other peoples stories that it's never to late to open things up. If you can get anything in up there there is hope for you. Good luck. We are all here for you.


Hi Maria,

I finished radio-chemotherapy in May 2013 and I have the same problems as you are experiencing when it comes to sex and the dilators. I used them a little bit last year and was advised to use Replense which is meant to replace moisture back into vagina whilst dilators stretch it. I don't use either because it brings bad memories back for me too and also I've suffered badly with UTIs following the use of Replense. 

Where we differ is I'm married with two children, I wanted more but I feel blessed to have the 2. My husband has been super supportive since diagnosis but he's getting fed up now with the lack of sex life we have. In his mind, the time that has passed should mean I'm ok to carry on as normal now. But my body nor my mind are at that stage yet. There is time though and I guess I just need to get over it and take the plunge! 

I advise you talk to your new man and im sure he'll be supportive. You can take it slowly. The more we do it the more elasticity will return and it'll get easier.


good luck xx


Thankyou ladies your replies have helped alot, sometimes i just feel all alone with everything that has happened, but i have now told the guy about everything and he has been very understanding and have continued using the dilators so now just have to try and see what happens, fingers crossed.