Anal cancer

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Radiation Therapy and Sexual Activity

Phoenix Rising
Posted by

Radiation oncologist mentioned that due to he close proximity of he vaginal walls and where the tumor is and the angles that the radiation has to be directed, there is some possiblility that the vaginal walls may stick together- making it a no go zone ...........

Have any of you had this experience?  he said that the have tried dilators in-situ during radiation therapy, but, due to the pain that it caused (on removal and reinsertion) they would be going that route again.

Thoughts / experiences anyone?

Also,although Ii doubt I'll be feeling amorous during my treatments, he said that trying to keep up a egual scedule regarding sex might help.  Again, Thought/precautions anyone??

Thanks  - a delecate subject I know ........................

Little My
Posted by

Hi Robin,

Well, they told me the same might happen to me afterwards so I was given the dilators to use 4 times a week once I had finished treatment. It did go really really small and has taken a lot of time to stretch back out again. To be honest, I have not tried too much as there wasn't any sex on the cards anyway but I think it is now stretched enough that I could have if I wanted.... though it is rather tender in one spot and mine had spread through so I guess that didn't help either.

So, all I can say is maybe get the dilators to use at home with plenty of lubricant and start with the smallest one and see how you get on. I wasn't given mine till a few weeks after treatment finished and they said it might close up to me if I didn't use them but it was ok. The consultant did ask me how it was going and said he could refer me to a specialist nurse if need be. I was due a smear test too and he said try and if they can't do it, we can get it done by gynae until you are stretched enough again so he seemed to think it was doable.

No one mentioned sex during treatment to me. Mind you, I had just had a colostomy fitted and with the tumour pressing, sex was the last thing on my mind!

I would say do what you feel like. There are a lot of side effects which sound scary and may or may not happen but you cross those bridges when you get to them.

A lot can be done to stretch it back afterwards so don't despair at the moment....

and sod delicate subjects... we are not shy here, though I have to laugh at the first lines that show in the activity page sometimes.... I had a thread for those with a warped sense of humour a while ago and we used to type songs and waffle to cover the first few lines from others :)

Good luck with treatment!!! And I got the giggles thinking of a blessing... appropriate to this thread.. may your bits be wide and free? HAHAHAAAAAA

Love and hugs

Little My xxxxx

Posted by

Hi Robin

My tumour was growing into the wall of my vagina, so that area got a full blasting from the radiotherapy.  I got very sore, & also developed a fistula (these are rare, so please don't worry that you will get one) and I couldn't have begun to contemplate sex during my treatment, or for quite a while after.  However, in spite of that, nothing got stuck together!   I used dilators once I was confident the fistula had healed - this was not until about 3 months after I finished treatment.  Usually women start using them a bit sooner than that. 

I know they advise that if you have sex regularly, you may not need to keep using dilators after treatment.  I've never heard or read of anyone being advised to have sex during treatment though - I just think it would be way too painful & as you say, you are unlikely to be feeling very amorous! 

I should point out that I'm single, so the sex issue wasn't an immediate problem.  I did get back together with an ex-boyfriend (who had been very supportive during the whole thing) for a short time after my treatment, but I'd not even started with the dilators then so we never tried full intercourse.

Hope that helps - I know it's a delicate subject, but this forum is an embarassment-free zone, so don't worry about asking!

G x

PS Glad you got the chemo business cleared up.  I love the idea of "monkey" tablets.  Makes them sound much nicer!