Breast cancer and its treatment can affect your sex life and how you see yourself as a woman (body image). Sexual difficulties can happen as a result of the physical and emotional effects of cancer and its treatment.
You may lose interest in sex, feel unattractive or worry that you’ll never be able to be sexually active. For some women, these problems continue well after treatment is over.
Try not to think that sex is never going to be as important in your life as it was before. Bringing sex back into your life can involve a period of adjustment for you and your partner. After treatment, some women continue to have problems with their body image and self-esteem. Others may be left with a low sex drive (libido) or have sexual difficulties as a result of the physical effects of treatment. Usually, women find that with time most difficulties can be overcome.
Many people find it difficult to talk about sexual issues because they feel embarrassed or self-conscious. Your doctor or nurse specialist will be used to talking about these things and can advise you about where to go for specialist help and support.
Some of the physical effects of your treatment may make having sex difficult or reduce your sex drive.
Our section on sexuality and cancer has detailed information about the impact cancer can have on sexuality and ways to cope.