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Leukemia Education Package and Your Care Needs During Treatment
Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  Odette Cancer Program  >  Hematology cancer care  >  About hematology cancer care  >  Leukemia education  >  Sexual Health and Intimacy

Sexual Health and Intimacy

Many people find sex and intimacy hard to talk about. Not being able to talk about your worries can affect how you feel about yourself and your relationships with others. It is normal to:

  • Worry about being intimate with someone after treatment
  • Have a lot of questions and worries about sex and intimacy after treatment
  • Not know how to talk about this with your partner

There is support to help you with your worries, you can ask your health care team anytime and they can give you more information to find something that works for you.

Tips Before You Start Sexual Activities After Treatment

  • Think about how you are feeling
  • Know what your blood counts are and if you can start sexual activities
  • Try to talk openly with your partner about how you are feeling
  • Make sure to secure your Hickman line or PICC line to prevent it from coming loose during sex

Tips During Sexual Activities

  • Use condoms to prevent pregnancy
  • Use condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections
  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Avoid lubricants with scents, chemicals or petroleum based because they may irritate your skin and damage condoms
  • Sex and intimate activities might feel painful or uncomfortable, talk to your health care team if you feel this
  • Men may notice some changes to erections after chemotherapy
  • Talk to your health care team if these changes are bothering you

Conserve Your Energy

It is normal to have fatigue (tiredness) while you recover from treatment. While you recover you may feel fatigue. What causes fatigue?

  • Low blood counts
  • Medications
  • Disease
  • Your body’s reaction to treatment
  • Stress