How can my partner and I be intimate if I'm having breast cancer treatment?

If you are receiving treatment for breast cancer, one area you may be grappling with is sexual intimacy. However, you should forget about sex for the moment. Instead, focus on intimacy. Massage one another, hold hands, go on spontaneous dates. Find ways to bring sensuality into your life -- beautiful negligees (several companies make lingerie for women who have had a mastectomy), romantic music, low lights. Spend one evening slowly touching each other. Ask your partner to gently touch your scar. 

And if your desire for intimacy is affected by negative feelings about your body, try turning out all the lights before you start.

Communication is essential during this time. Talk about why you may not feel desire right now. Get your partner to talk about how your diagnosis and treatment have affected him or her. If you feel too uncomfortable talking, try writing letters in which you tell each other how you feel.

And share your concerns with your healthcare team who may be able to recommend strategies to help you regain the intimacy you've lost.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.