Intimacy After Cervical Cancer

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: January 26, 2012

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Question

Can I still be intimate with my partner after radiation for cervical cancer?

Answer

Nicole Ross, RN, MSN, OCN - Radiation Oncology Nurse at Penn Medicine, responds:

YES! You can still be intimate with your partner after radiation for cervical cancer. During the first few weeks after radiation, the vagina can have changes that may make sexual activity painful. You can expect to resume sexual activity about 3-4 weeks after completing radiation. Being sexually active can prevent scar tissue or adhesions that may form in the vagina. Your doctor may also recommend the use of a vaginal dilator a few times per week to prevent vaginal stenosis.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Gynecologic Cancers transcript.