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Chemotherapy and Sex - Possibilities and Problems

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Ashok Rughani 93% (3655ratings)
Sexologist, Ahmedabad  •  44years experience
Chemotherapy and Sex - Possibilities and Problems

Cancer is the scourge of the modern era with increasing cases being reported by a significant percentage of the population with the passage of time. The ever increasing incidences, the number of patients being treated with Chemotherapy is also on the rise. This treatment however, does come with its own disadvantages and although it may be effective in curing cancer, its side effects may render a patient incapable of leading a normal life for the duration of the treatment.

What exactly is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a process by which cancer cells in the body are destroyed with the use of chemical drugs. Although it is an effective form of treatment, it has many side effects as it can affect good cells as well. This is one of the main reasons hair cells may die out temporarily and a person undergoing Chemotherapy experience hair fall

Sex and Chemotherapy
Although, sessions of Chemotherapy can damage a person's libido it may be possible to have sex keeping certain precautions in mind. Here are certain possibilities and problems associated with sex while undergoing Chemotherapy.


  1. It is possible to have sex while undergoing Chemotherapy, if the concerned doctor says that it won't harm the patient in any way.
  2. If your doctor says you can have sex, then you are in the clear, but it is very important to gauge the situation yourself along with your doctor and go ahead only if Chemotherapy is successful.


  1. The main problem is that the patient may not have the energy or the desire to have sex as Chemotherapy can be taxing on the body. However, if you want to and the doctor says it won't cause problems, you can go ahead with it.
  2. Usually doctors ask patients to abstain from sex if the cancer being treated is within the genitalia. Friction during sex may cause issues within the organs and only and only if proper healing has occurred should the patient's consider sex.
  3. Certain types of Chemotherapy may change the lining of the vaginal walls and thus make them more prone to injury during vaginal sex and thus should be abstained from. Also with Chemotherapy, the white blood cell count tends to be reduced within the body and this may leave it vulnerable to bacterial infections, which may come from the partner during sex.

Moreover, It is advisable not to conceive while receiving Chemotherapy, whether the cancer is with the man and most definitely when it is with the woman. Chemotherapy may cause acute imbalances within the body and may seriously affect the development of the baby and especially the mother, if she has cancer.

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