Help - no sex drive

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Hi everyone,  I hope you have all been keeping safe and well.

It's just over a year since I finished my cancer treatment. I have absolutely no sex drive. My fiance has been so understanding but he is after all a man with a sex drive. He is scared of hurting me physically so just gives up trying. Its starting to become a big issue now and I could do with some advice. 

Thanks xx

  • Hi Janeejanjan,

    I am really sorry to read what you’re experiencing at the moment. It could be due to a whole multitude of reasons, including hormonal, psychological, physical. After treatment, I completely lost my sex drive for about 9 months which looking back was abnormal but at the time felt incredibly normal (I was just completely and utterly disinterested). I am pretty certain that hormones and psychology played the biggest part for me. I was quite low during that time and I’m sure I had deficient testosterone levels as I developed a short case of gynecomastia. Eventually the hormone levels settled down and my head space improved and I found that the sex drive naturally came back. In terms of relationship problems with your fiancé, I think openness and honesty is the best way forward. He will need to clearly understand what sex is like for you at the moment. That’s not to say it will be like that forever but I would hope he’ll understand the situation you are in at the moment. He’ll also need to understand that it’s not a reflection on how much you love him. If you feel that you would to pursue medical help, it is definitely helpful. I didn’t have any hormone therapy but I did go through counseling and this definitely helped my psychological state which I am sure contributed to my sex drive returning.

    Hope this helps in some small way.


  • Hi,

    I can sympathise with you I had rectum cancer in 2017 and after 25 sessions of chemo/radiotherapy and a 7 hour operation to have an ileostomy which was reversed in 2018...I am really lucky however have no sex drive and also being in my 50’s have extreme vaginal dryness which is down to treatment but also being told down to age!

    My husband has been extremely understanding but likewise wonder is this it?

    So any advice from fellow community would be greatly appreciated!

    Good luck xx

    Live for today Heart
  • Hey Janeejanjan, so sorry to hear what you're going through. It's very common for women after cancer or any kind of physical treatment - we have so many more factors that influence our sex drive. I really recommend reading 'Come As You Are' for more info on this - it really helped me. I also found this blog helpful: Also remember that sex and intimacy is about more than the act itself. It's about touching, speaking, sharing and connecting. Could you try starting slowly with light touching and massage? See how it makes you feel without the pressure to go any further?

  • Hi to Janeejanjan and everyone else who posted on this thread...  I am reviving it after 4 years to ask how things have evolved or changed for you since then...  My partner had aggressive treatment (chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant) for lymphoma.  It has been 12 months since the very intensive therapy and his libido is very low.  I have been very patient and empathic (18 months now since the start of the therapy...) but it is very hard.  There is a lot of touching and intimate moments but I am finding it hard that he has lost his sex drive (it was very high before).  I've just recently decided to bring this up so that he realises I am missing it (he had no clue...  men......) and I have a lot more patience left in me, but somehow thought hearing stories from others who have gone through this would help me.

    Please don't flame me for this.  I am so grateful that he is alive and doing well, after all he has gone through...  but of course I am also human, am in love with him, find him attractive (even more now than before, after everything we have been through) and just want to feel that desire from him again...

  • Hi. Sorry to hear about your issue. I too have very little sex drive after my treatment. It's been about 10 months since my Stem cell transplant and although there has been plenty of intemacy with my husband, there has been very little actual sex. I think he was afraid he would break me. Now I am starting to feel better and my desires are returning.. it's taking some convincing to my husband that he won't break me and that I actually miss sex.