Sex life after cancer

Sex life after cancer: “The desire completely leaves”

Both sexuality and cancer are topics that are often avoided, but there are more and more tools for people with or who have had the disease to reclaim their sex lives

Overcoming cancer can leave some consequences and one is that of conditioning the sex life of the patients. Eva María Moyano had breast cancer nine years ago, when she was 36, and had a double mastectomy.

With the hormonal change, she stopped having her period and had symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes, sequelae that still last.

The case is even more complex because his partner has also had to fight cancer, in his case testicles. This has completely affected the relationship.

“If you don’t love yourself, it’s difficult to attract the other person”, explains Eva María, who didn’t recognize her own body and, for a long time, even covered the mirror with a towel so as not to see herself naked.

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Double Taboo

“Sexuality is taboo; cancer, too,” points out Eva María. Recovering normalcy also in this aspect is often not easy and that is why the Oncolliga de Girona, in collaboration with the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), has launched a pilot plan this year so that those who have or have had cancer can face this situation with the help of professionals.

Eva María and her partner have started going to this oncology sexuality service, where they can talk openly about how they feel and rediscover sexuality.

At the forefront is the sexologist and gynecologist Raquel Tulleuda, who emphasizes the need for couples to walk together in this aspect: “Sexologists say that the couple either becomes a co-therapist and row in the same direction as the person directly affected and the therapist or, without realizing it, will row in the opposite direction,” he says.

The initiative arose when the ICO detected the lack of support in the matter of sexuality for many patients. “Patients asked few questions and I think that, actively, the doctor also asked few questions,” says oncologist Helena Pla.

Since clinical sexuality consultations began in February, professionals have been asking a lot more. “We believe it is an important part of the patient’s quality of life,” concludes Plan.

Tulleuda points out that there are tools, both from a psychological and biological point of view, that help prevent and reduce the impact that cancer has on people’s sexuality.

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