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About this information

This information has been prepared to help you understand the ways cancer and its treatment may affect your sex life and relationships.

Sex and intimacy are an important part of our wellbeing. It’s how we experience physical and emotional closeness, and develop intimate relationships. It’s closely linked to how we relate to ourselves and others. We hope this booklet helps you find practical ways to adapt to any physical or emotional changes you experience, and discover ways to maintain intimacy.

The information is for everyone, no matter what your sex, gender or sexual orientation, or whether you are in relationship or single. In this information, the term “partner” means the person/s you choose to share a close intimate relationship with.

When talking about the body, we use the terms “female” and “male”. Transgender, non-binary and intersex people may identify with a different sex or gender.

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed August 2022 by the following expert content reviewers: Dr Margaret McGrath, Head of Discipline: Occupational Therapy, Sydney School of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, NSW; Yvette Adams, Consumer; Dr Kimberley Allison, Out with Cancer study, Western Sydney University, NSW; Andreea Ardeleanu, Mental Health Accredited Social Worker, Cancer Counselling Service, Canberra Health Service, ACT; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Dr Kerrie Clover, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Psycho-Oncology Service, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Maree Grier, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Mark Jenkin, Consumer; Bronwyn Jennings, Gynaecology Oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mater Health, QLD; Dr Rosalie Power, Out with Cancer study, Western Sydney University, NSW; Dr Margaret Redelman OAM, Medical Practitioner and Clinical Psychosexual Therapist, Sydney, NSW; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse Consultant, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; Simone Sheridan, Sexual Health Nurse Consultant, Sexual Health Services – Austin Health, Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, VIC; Prof Jane Ussher, Chair, Women’s Heath Psychology and Chief Investigator, Out with Cancer study, Western Sydney University, NSW; Paula Watt, Clinical Psychologist, WOMEN Centre, WA.

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