would appreciate opinions

Hello ladies, I'm Louise. I was diagnosed a month ago with stage 1b2 cc, adenosquamous with slight lymph node involvement. Treatment starting on 7th Sept, 5weeks of chemoradiation which is to be followed by 3 brachytherapy sessions. The doctor said that having the internal radiation would take the success rate from 70% to 78%, that it was a "no-brainer". After some thinking time, I'm not so sure.

I have read about the side effects of brachytherapy and it sounds debilitating in all honesty. I don't know if that 8% is worth the indefinite daily dilation that will be needed just to stop my vagina from closing up. Maybe if it was another 20-30%, but is it worth 8?

I hope I don't come across as ungrateful. I would love to hear honest opinions please. I'm 36 and sex is important to me as is being able to have regular smear tests.

Best wishes



Hi Louise, 

I was also stage 1b2 (but no lymph node involvement). My treatment was like yours, slightly different  (possibly because I'm in the US). It was 6 chemo, 25 external radiation, and 5 brachy treatments. 

Now, everyone is different. In my experience, I was able to work and continue with my life as normal during treatment. There were some bowel issues, but that was from the external radiation. 

I'm 32, sex is still important to me too. I'm about 2 months post treatment and everything is fine down there! Just make sure you use the dilators or have regular sex.

While the brachy isn't comfortable, I'd say it's probably necessary for your treatment. 

Hope this helps! 


Hi Louise

I had a radical hysterectomy for my 1b1 and had brachy only afterwards. It’s not used that often on its own but my consultant said that for me it might be a good alternative to full chemo radiation

I had the high dose 10 minute one, I think your would be different tho?. I have no side effects now, initially and for about a year after I had a red patch due to the radiation but it gave me no pain.

I did use the dilator about 2 to 3 times a week initially, now I use it when I remember, probably once every couple of weeks. I recently went 4 weeks with no dilator (or sex) and all was still fine!

It’s obviously your choice so you need to be comfortable with it but my experience of it all has bee find and I’m very glad I had it.

Take care

Hi Louise,

I think you will find that it is the external radiation that has more long-term effects than the brachy. I wouldn't avoid the brachy, it's not debilitating in the slightest.

Be lucky :-)

Thanks guys. It really helps to hear some positive stuff. Unfortunately all I've read is negative so far and it's been quite frightening.


Hi Louise,

I just completed my treatment a couple of weeks ago 5 x Chemo 25 x Radiotherapy & 3 x Brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy was not the most comfortable of procedures, but it certainly wasn't painful.  When the Brachytherapy Practitioner discussed the treatment with me,  I was told of all the worst case scenario things that could happen, but I think they have to be honest and up front with you, and it's a very pleasant surprise when your treatament goes smoothly with very little side effects other than upset bowels from the radiation.

A week after my treatment finished, I felt an almost itching sensation internally, I was told not to use the dilators until 2 weeks after treatment finished so I bought some Replens Vaginal Moisturiser and used that to keep the area hydrated and supple.  I am due to start using the dilators this week and was advised to use them 3 times a week for a year, and when I felt comfortable enough, to resume intercourse.

An intimate relationship is important to me too,  and taking heed of all the advice I have been given, I see no reason why I won't be able to resume that.

I very much understand your concern, and hope this helps you

Stay strong & positive, Best wishes

Feisty xx


Thank you Feisty, that's very good news. I am feeling a lot more relaxed about it now. I am having the same course of treatment as you. I hope my side effects are minimal as well.

Best wishes xxx

I'm glad to hear you are feeling a lot more relaxed about the treatment now.  It is scary stuff when you listen to what the practitioners tell you the possible side effects of the treatment are and all the possible problems you could have.  It's only natural your mind starts to imagine worst case scenario, 

You've already been through the worst part with the Chemo & Radiotherapy, You're on the home strait now, so I hope your treatment goes quickly & smoothy and you have minimal side effects, if any

Best Wishes,

Feisty xxx