Sex and immunotherapy

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Hi,my partner has just finished  4 cycles of chemo for lung cancer,but is continuing with immunotherapy.  We have used a condom while he's been on chemo,do we need to continue to use a condom while he's just on immunotherapy? The drug he is on is Pembrolizumab and he will be on 6 week cycles. 

There is no chance of pregnancy, I'm 70 years oldRofl!

Thank you

  • Hi Worcs

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    My name is Paula and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line.

    It’s good to hear your partner has completed his 4 cycles of chemotherapy and is continuing with his immunotherapy. I hope he’s tolerating his treatment well with minimal side-effects.

    It sounds like you have both been sensible during his previous treatment and are still enjoying an intimate relationship. It’s understandable you have concerns now your partners treatment regime has changed.

    Although you say there is no chance of getting pregnant due to your age, we would suggest you continue to use condoms and avoid unprotected sex whilst he’s on treatment. This is due to the unknown risk cancer treatment may cause to yourself. You may find this booklet useful to look at.

    I hope you find this information helpful

    If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch by email, webchat or phone. The Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial and emotional support. You can call us free from landlines and from most mobile phone networks* on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm.


    Best wishes,


    Ref: PW/JD

    Paula-Cancer Information Nurse Specialist