• intimacy after treatment.

    Asked by Jbogardk on Sunday, March 8, 2015

    intimacy after treatment.

    Do I have to purchase dialators?
    How does this work? No doctor has told me this would be a problem. Ugg. Frustrated

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • IronMom45's Avatar
      IronMom45

      Sorry but to be clear, do you mean after pelvic radiation? I'm not sure with anal cancer but assuming it's the same for uterine/cervix cancer that receives pelvic radiation the radiologist should of discussed the possibility of vaginal stenosis after radiation. The radiation can cause narrowing of the vagina called stenosis related to scar tissue build up. Usually directions are to use dilator daily or every other day after radiation completed. Doctors also say intimate relations if ok through doctor is acceptable in place of dilator. Radiation dr gave me the dilators at end of treatment. Another woman on this site suggested cool water cones as compared to the ones dr gives and these are more comfortable in the early days. Someone on this site was also trying to see of insurance would pay for the cool water cones. I'm not sure how that turned out with the insurance. But that site is www.coolwatercones.com.

      almost 6 years ago
    • IronMom45's Avatar
      IronMom45

      Just to add the coolwatercones aid in relieving the burning feeling of radiation treatment as well.

      almost 6 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      My rad onc didn't give me the dilator, my gyn onc gave it to me when I finished radiation. During a follow-up with rad onc, I was offered one. My gyn onc gave me a medium, which was too large, so rad onc gave me the smaller one, which was better for me.

      almost 6 years ago
    • sue57's Avatar
      sue57

      IronMom is right! You will need them. Doctors don't talk much about using them with Anal Cancer survivors. I had maybe one sentence at my first rad visit then nothing more. I had so many other issues I had to wait almost 6 months before I could even consider using them. Now I use the cool water cones and they are fabulous. You don't need any lubricant, just wet them. They have a multi pack with three sizes or you can buy each size. Store in a ziplock Baggie in the refrigerator after use and wash only in warm water, no soap!. I wrap that in a neoprene suitcase handle thing and have had longer than advertised use. You should make an appointment with your GYN also, they can assess what size you need and check for any other issues the pelvic radiation has caused. Best wishes :)

      almost 6 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar
      Phoenix76

      I watched a video on YouTube in which a young woman talked candidly about her cancer journey. She was advised to use a dilator, and showed one that she bought on Amazon, which has different sizes. She opened up the package and showed the attachments and so forth.

      My doctor had a short discussion with me because I was scheduled for brachytherapy, but halfway through the treatment period, they decided that I wouldn't need it. I bought a dilator at the beginning of radiation, just in case, and have used it infrequently. It helps!

      Check with your onc or your hospital - they may be able to refer you to a therapist who specializes in intimacy and cancer, who can help you through some of the challenges.

      almost 6 years ago
    • liznparadise's Avatar
      liznparadise

      I have vaginal stenosis after pelvic radiation. The Radiology Oncologist didn't talk about that side effect. Later at a check-up a nurse talked to me about it. I tried the dilators but they were painful. I will try the cool water cones.

      almost 6 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar
      warrior3

      during my treatment my oncologist's nurse provided the dilators after I brought up the subject of my concern with the stenosis. They gave me guidelines as to how and when to use. I've read about the cool water cones on this site and have said before that I wish I'd known about those when I was going through this. That was 9 years ago, maybe they weren't around yet! I definitely think you should discuss this with your dr. and/or nurses, let them know about your pain, discomfort, concerns. Best of luck to you!

      almost 6 years ago
    • warrior3's Avatar
      warrior3

      Jbogardk, this is something that typically doesn't get brought up by our drs, unfortunately. We've had quite a few discussions on this site about exactly that… it's one of our worst side effects and one of the scariest yet until we ask about it nobody talks about it (and sometimes not even then!). So bring it up at an appt or make an appt specifically to get your questions and concerns addressed. Many of us have been referred to ob-gyn drs that specialize in oncological side effects and they can be of great help. Some of us have been to physical therapy after treatment (waiting a while to allow our bodies to heal first) to treat the stenosis and scar tissue that may build up. Don't despair, there are things that will help with whatever comes your way. And we're here for you, as well :)

      almost 6 years ago
    • Jbogardk's Avatar
      Jbogardk

      Thank you for answering this issue. I'm going to speek with my oncologist on Friday. I' will buy the cones I'm sure.

      almost 6 years ago
    • GolfGirl's Avatar
      GolfGirl

      Ask to see a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor issues. My physical therapist was wonderful!

      almost 6 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more anal cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Anal Cancer page.