Let’s face it, cancer is not sexy. If you are a cancer survivor, you’re probably familiar with the crushing gamut of emotional and physical challenges the disease causes in your physical and personal life. Cancer affects all of us in one way or another, and it can be difficult to cope through the stages between detection, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Still millions of people soldier through it every day.
The good news is that the pleasures in life do not have to end after you or a loved one are treated with cancer. While it’s true that recovering from cervical cancer can be exhausting and painful on many levels, there is no reason that the rest of your life should suffer once you are in remission. After all, sex is literally what life is all about.
One of the aspects of this is that it’s difficult but necessary to keep your partner in mind. While they didn’t suffer the way the survivor did, it is still right to take their feelings and desires into account. Consider the possibility that your partner might be feeling vulnerable or uneasy about getting intimate with you after you’ve recovered from the trauma of cancer treatment.
The other person may be emotionally fragile as well, leading to less sexual desire. There are a wide variety of situations that can arise after cancer treatment. Here are a few tips to help you and your partner stay intimately healthy after one of you has been diagnosed, treated, and recovered from cervical cancer.
Managing Emotional Fallout With Your Partner After a Cervical Cancer Diagnosis
From the moment you are tested positive from a cervical cancer screening like the one developed HologicWomensHealth.com, your whole life will begin to change. If you are in a relationship, your partner’s life is going to change drastically too no matter what. When you are dealing with the diagnosis, it can be difficult to manage your own emotions, much less try to address all the different thoughts and feelings swirling within your partner’s head.
It might be a lot to ask to also consider the feelings of your partner when you’ve been going through something, especially if you’ve been dealt with a cancer diagnosis. However, focusing on your partner during this challenging time might offer a healthy distraction amid the chaos and terror cancer can cause. What’s crucial to keep in mind here is that you are in control of your own life, and that includes the phases of your treatment as well as your intimacy and communication with your partner after a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The most important factor of surviving cancer with your partner is to have open communication about everything, even the things you don’t want to talk about. Discussing the diagnosis, treatments, and long-term expectations with your loved one is vital to maintaining a balanced and intimate relationship while you’re going through this. It won’t be easy, but if you lay down the groundwork with a candid and honest conversation, the road to recovery and renewed intimacy will be easier. In the end, it can even improve over time and become better than it was before your diagnosis. Life is too short, cancer teaches you that.
What to Expect: Body Image and Libido After Recovering from Cervical Cancer
Surviving cervical cancer is certainly a cause for celebration, but it is also a cautious celebration because cancer can always come back. The ordeal can leave many women feeling insecure or worried about their bodies. Specific treatments for cervical cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation, or hysterectomy may staunch a woman’s desire for intimacy or even eradicate her libido altogether for a time being. Furthermore, women and their partners admit they feared sex might be painful after treatment, or the act would be different than it was before cancer. Most of these are just irrational fears.
All of these fears are understandable, and it’s important to realize that you or your partner need to approach intimacy with patience and sensitivity during this recovery period. While recovering from cervical cancer treatments, it’s important to remember that you are going through tremendous transformations hormonally, physically, and emotionally. Here are a few points to keep in mind about body confidence and spicing up your relationship after treatment for a disease like cancer.
How to Enliven Your Sex Life While Recovering from Cervical Cancer
Some women report the act of sex is uncomfortable or even painful after cervical cancer treatment. It may take time to fully heal and experience sex as robustly and joyously as you did in the past. If this is the case, you can also think of alternative erotic activities in the bedroom. It may take time, but communicate with each other and don’t rush. You will be fine in the end.
The common idea held about intercourse involves penetration, but if this is painful after treatment, then consider trying other things. This is often referred to as outercourse. Outercourse is all about alternative sensual activities you and your partner can enjoy to spice up your sex life without enduring the potential pain of penetration. Some outercourse activities include passionate kissing, erotic talk, sharing a shower together, engaging in a sensual massage, oral sex, and more.
In many cases, these and other nontraditional acts of mutual seduction can enhance closeness in a relationship. Women and their partners have often said that alternatives to intercourse increased feelings of intimacy and sensitivity. Practicing outercourse activities in the bedroom also encourages communication and is shown to strengthen the emotional bond between couples. If both people are happy, there’s nothing wrong.
Closing Thoughts About Intimacy After Cervical Cancer
Pulling through the trials of cervical cancer implies that you are a survivor and you have the strength to get through intense emotional and physical challenges. Bear this in mind as you practice self-care, and adjust to new ways of savoring your own sexual pleasure and giving back to your partner. Try to realize that you are worthy of intimacy and that your sexual enjoyment is important. You can experience a rich sex life again after cancer treatment. Just remember to allow yourself plenty of time, patience, and understanding as you continue the ongoing process of recovery.