Sex is an important part of life. But can a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy or radiation continue to have sex during these difficult treatments?
The short answer is that it's up to the patient (and their partner). The long answer is slightly more complicated.
There's no question that chemotherapy can affect one's interest in sex, on both the physical and psychological levels. The patient may be exhausted and entirely uninterested in sex, or he or she may be too stressed, too full of anxiety, to have any interest.
As the Cancer Research UK's page on Sex and Chemotherapy points out, "There's no medical reason to stop having sex during chemotherapy. The drugs won't have any long term physical effects on your performance or enjoyment of sex."
The only issue Cancer Research UK has with regards to sex and chemo concerns conception. They strongly advise against trying to become pregnant during chemotherapy, since the drugs may affect the child. They even recommend protection if the woman is on the pill, saying " We don't think that any of the drugs would get through, but there is a small chance that they could get into your bodily fluids so you need to protect your partner."
Cancer Research UK has additional information on:
How cancer can affect your sexuality and sex life
Sex and cancer for women
Sex and cancer for men
Sex and cancer for singles