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In the first part of this write up we looked at the changes breast cancer and its treatment bring about and how it might effect the couple concerned. In this second part, I will be focusing more on specific points that might help the couple re-connect and increase intimacy.

  • Accept your new body: Your physical appearance will change after breast cancer and the way you feel about it also changes. Coming to accept the new you takes time. This is a process of physical and emotional healing and adjustment.
  • Talk to your partner about what you are going through and let them open up to you. You might think that your partner is not approaching you for sex because you’re not attractive any more.  On the other hand, they might be afraid of touching the surgical area or attempting to respect your privacy by staying away.
  • Re-negotiate your sexual interactions: Sex does not have to be done the way it was carried out before cancer happened. You might find pleasure in new positions and if touching the breast area is unpleasant you might try and experiment with other erogenous zones.  Make it fun, keep it light and use intimacy as a way to re-connect.

Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on anna@willingness.com.mt