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Testicular Cancer: Coping with Effects on Sexuality

Senior couple embracing on couch.

Treatment for testicular cancer can lead to changes in sexual function. Treatment can also change how your genital area looks. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about how cancer or its treatment can affect your sexuality. There are often ways to help.

Whether these changes are short-term or long lasting, you can find ways to feel good about yourself and to be intimate with your partner. 

Keep in mind that:

  • Your partner is also affected by your cancer. Talk about both of your feelings and fears.

  • Clear communication with your partner and healthcare provider are key to feeling good about sexual intimacy even with the changes cancer may cause.

  • It can be normal to lose the desire for sex for a while during and after cancer treatment. 

  • Cancer is not contagious.

  • Being intimate will not stimulate the cancer to come back or grow.

To help recover your sex life:

  • Be patient and give yourself time. Be creative.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about maintaining or resuming sexual activity.

  • Focus on your physical recovery. This includes diet, rest, and activities.

  • If you have a partner, include your partner in discussions.

  • Choose a time when you and you partner are rested and free from distractions.

  • Create a romantic mood.

  • Try different positions until you find one that is most comfortable for you and your partner.

  • Use pain medicines, if needed.

  • Keep an open mind about learning new ways to have sexual pleasure for you and your partner.

  • Explore different ways of expressing love. This might be hugging and holding, stroking and caressing, or talking.

  • Find humor where you can.

  • Consider counseling with a therapist who has worked with people with similar challenges.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Richard, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Levy, Adam S, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2018
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
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