Can cervical cancer have sex? – VnExpress

Women with cervical cancer can change positions, use lubricating gels … during sex to avoid damage to the weakened cervix.

I am 32 years old, have cervical cancer stage 1A, have had cervical cone cut. Doctor, can I have sex or should I abstain? (My Hanh, Quang Ninh)


Cervical cancer and its treatments can cause many changes to a woman’s sex life. Surgery has the potential to cause hormone reduction, change the shape and structure of a woman’s external genitalia, which in turn, leads to vaginal dryness and decreased libido. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy can cause burning pain, even narrowing, adhesion, vaginal atrophy or cause fatigue, nausea, psychological anxiety. These are common causes of low sex drive or fear of sex.

If you’re still sexually active after cervical cancer treatment, you can have sex when your body feels ready. However, in the case of ulcers, burning pain, vaginal bleeding, etc., you need to abstain from sex because there is a risk of damage to the genitals and infection of diseases.

After cervical cancer treatment, you can have sex when your body is ready. Image: Shutterstock

After a cone surgery, you need to wait at least 4-6 weeks or longer for the wound to heal. The length of time to delay intercourse will depend on the amount of cervical tissue removed. The more abnormal the cervical tissue, the longer it takes for the cervix to heal.

Sex is often more difficult after you have cervical cancer. You can change your sex habits to find comfort, such as trying different positions. You can use some lubricant aids to improve dryness, burning during sex; use a dilator (a tube made of plastic, rubber, or silicone) to stretch the vaginal wall and break up scar tissue. Kegel exercises contribute to improving flexibility and strength. Hormonal therapy is also suitable for some women, but consultation with a specialist is required.

Your partner’s attention and coordination is also important in providing pleasure. Do not be afraid to share your feelings, suggest things that you would like the other person to do. In addition, an open discussion with a medical specialist is important for treatment as well as finding solutions to improve sex life.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there will be about 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths in 2020. Of these, about 90% will occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for nearly 50% of cervical pre-cancers. HPV is primarily sexually transmitted, and most people become infected with HPV during sexual activity. HIV-infected women are six times more likely to develop cervical cancer than women without HIV. Vaccination against HPV and regular cervical cancer screening are effective ways to prevent cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is curable if diagnosed at an early stage and treated promptly.

MSc.BS Bui Thi Nga
Oncology Department, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi


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