Anonymous on September 8, 2011

Can we have normal sex after cervical cancer treatment?

My wife found out she might have cervical cancer and is scheduled to have a LEEP procedure done to remove some of the cells...what do I need to know about having sex with her after the procedure? Will she be okay? Will we be able to have normal sex?

answered by Mitchell Tepper, PhD, MPH on September 8, 2011

Thanks for your thoughtful question. The period leading up to a medical procedure can be nerve-wracking. And while I’m sure your wife’s overall health is at the forefront of your mind, I can understand that both of you want some sense of how aLEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) might affect your sex life.

First, rest assured that most women enjoy a normal sex life after a LEEP. Over time, some scar tissue may develop around your wife’s cervix, but this shouldn’t affect your sexual function or enjoyment.

As with any medical procedure, it’s important to wait until any wounds have healed – but generally speaking, most women can resume sexual activity after a few weeks, and most couples don’t experience any difference in their sex life after a woman has healed.

As a side-note, doctors also typically advise women to wait a few weeks after a LEEP before placing anything else in their vaginas, like tampons.

When your wife’s doctor has given the green light to resume intercourse, be sure to spend enough time with foreplay. Why? Because it’s even more important that she’s well aroused and lubricated before sexual intercourse.

That said, I encourage you and your wife to speak with her doctor about her specific situation in greater detail…and to give you both the peace of mind you need about the procedure, recovery and life moving forward.

Wishing you both the best of health and sexual well-being…
Related info:

Mitchell Tepper, PhD, MPH

Dr. Tepper directs sexual health education at An AASECT-certified sexuality educator and counselor, his areas of expertise include sexual dysfunctions, sexuality following disability or illness, pleasure and orgasm, relationships, and military and veteran couples' counseling. Dr. Tepper was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

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