painful sex

Evening ladies.

Hope you are all well and enjoying the September sunshine.

I am 10 weeks since last chemo and was wondering if anyone else is experiencing painful sex. It’s not a lubrication issue but more it feels like I am going to tear (sorry if too much info). The pain is so bad I end up in tears and we have to abort activities. My other half has been fantastic throughout treatment and I really want to be able to enjoy sex again but I just can’t.

What with no hair, a disfigured boob and gaining over a stone I don’t feel very womanly and this is making things worse.

Any one got any tips or advice?

Helen xx

Hello Helen,


Bless you it must be horrid, I have not had chemo, so probably not even qualified to help you, but what I have had is thrush and boy can that be painful. Might just be worth getting checked out, I would imagine chemo stripping your immunity might lead to growth in fungal infections. Another consideration might be bacterial vaginosis, easily treated with active gel you can buy over the counter, but might be best to get your GP to confirm before self treating either. 


I hope everything settles down for you and you can resume a comfortable sex life!!!


best wishes



Nicola xx

Hi Helen l know exactly what you are talking about although it does seem to be improving slowly with lots of lubrication. I put it down to the after effects of chemo and the Herceptin, both can affect your mucus membranes which the literature describes as sore /runny nose dry eyes,sensitive mouth etc. They may not want to talk about more intimate areas lol ! I am sorry you are going through this too ,just glad l am not 'closing up ’ :wink:
Best wishes and positive thoughts one and all.

Hi helen1971

you have my absolute sympathies. I do know exactly what you are talking about. This is, unfortunately a side effect of our chemo and follow on hormone treatment, if you have that. It is due to the withdrawal of estrogen out of our bodies.

It may not be a question of lubrication - rather then that your vaginal walls have thinned and you may have contracted, too -  which may cause you the pain.

I would suggest to discuss either with your treatment team or your GP. They can prescribe relevant treatments. And as we are entitled to free prescriptions it seems a cost effective way to try and resolve this.

If your diagnosis was ER+ or PR+ it tends to be recommended to go for a moisturiser and lubricant, which does not contain Esrogen. However, if this does not work in the longer term, they are often prepared to prescribe an estrogen based moisturiser.

The treatment I am currently using is Hyalofemme -

There are others, such as Replens -

I also can understand that you are not feeling womanly. I, too have put on weight but am lucky, that now post chemo - it is very slowly going down again. I guess a lot of it is/was fluid retention.

It is often challenging for us to have a positive body image, considering what has happened to our bodies. But often, men do not see us the way that we see ourselves. I have no idea, what they see - but strangely, despite my operation and whilst going through chemo - no hair, eyebrows or lashes… I got chatted up and have started dating - and he is a rather dishy fellow. 


Sue xxx