Sexuality and intimacy

Breast cancer can affect your sexuality in physical and emotional ways. The impact of these changes depends on many factors, such as treatment and side effects, your self-confidence, and if you have a partner. Although sexual intercourse may not always be possible, closeness and sharing can still be part of your relationship.

If you don’t have a partner, you may worry about starting a new relationship after cancer treatment, especially if your body has changed. You might find it helpful to read Cancer Council’s information on Sexuality, Intimacy and Cancer and Emotions and Cancer

If you are able to have sex, you may be advised to use certain types of contraception (e.g. condoms) to protect your partner, or avoid pregnancy for a certain period of time. Your doctor or breast care nurse will talk to you about the precautions to take.

Listen to a podcast on Sex and Cancer


This information was last reviewed in July 2016
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Coping with cancer?
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Life after cancer treatment
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Cancer information

Physical effects and emotions
How to manage emotions when cancer treatment has caused physical changes

The role of partners
Tips for maintaining intimacy when your partner has had cancer treatment

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