If you are single

If you are single, your sex life is still an important part of who you are.

You may find that masturbation helps to satisfy your sexual needs. Take time to relax and explore your body and find what works for you. Masturbation may be different after treatment. Try using a water-based lubricant to increase sensation.

Recovery can take time. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer to become aroused, or you feel less aroused than before.

“When an individual has no partner, there is still a desire for sexual activity and masturbation is one way to achieve this.” – Lee
“The old adage of ‘use it or lose it’ can be substantially enhanced by the use of sex toys. I found using a ‘flesh light’ [a device like an artificial vagina] helped me a lot as a single person.” – Andy
“Using a vibrator really helped me to feel sexually satisfied after my cancer treatment.” - Jan

If you want to start a new relationship it can be very difficult to decide what to tell a new partner about your cancer, and also when to tell them. There is no simple answer that will work well for everyone. To help you decide, it may be useful to consider how safe you feel in this new relationship. Many people are worried they will be rejected by new partners because of the way their bodies have changed. You may find it useful to talk to a counsellor about starting a new relationship or any worries you have.