Sex and intimacy



Cancer Education

For many people, sex and intimacy is an important part of life.

Some people may experience changes to sexuality or intimacy during and after cancer treatment. Changes may affect the person with cancer as well as their partners or carers. 

Every person is different but for some, changes may include: 

  • Physical changes to your body 
  • How you feel about and/or see your body 
  • How you feel about yourself 
  • How you feel about sex 
  • How you feel about relationships

Information for cancer survivors and their carers 



Young people



Clinical services at Peter Mac Melbourne campus 

The following services are available to patients of Peter Mac in Melbourne. Please speak with your oncology team if you are receiving treatment elsewhere. This is because you may have different clinical service options.

  • Psychology services: Psychologists use various approaches to help people with cancer and their carers adjust to the challenges of cancer. These challenges can be emotional and psychological. 
  • Social work services: Social workers can provide counselling and support. They can advocate on behalf of you and the person you’re caring for. They can also offer practical advice and referrals to community services. 
  • Physiotherapy services: Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help with mobility and physical function. They can help before, during and after cancer treatment. 
  • Optimisation clinic: This multidisciplinary outpatient clinic is for cancer survivors with complex needs. Services include a dietitian, psychologist, physiotherapist, and occupational therapist. Speak to your treating team to be referred to this clinic. 
  • Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service: This service supports people between 15 and 25 years with cancer and their families. They work with the medical team to ensure they look after all aspects of a young person’s health and wellbeing. This care includes both during treatment and in the years beyond treatment. 
  • Sexual health and erectile dysfunction clinic: The focus of this clinic is on managing erectile dysfunction. It is for people who have had surgery following a prostate cancer diagnosis. For more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. them or contact the patient navigator on 03 8559 8496. 

Other clinical services in the Parkville precinct

The following services are available to patients of the Parkville precinct. The precinct includes the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Royal Women’s Hospital. Peter Mac is also part of the Parkville precinct. Please speak with your oncology team if you are being treated elsewhere. You may have different clinical service options. 

The Royal Women’s Hospital  

  • Menopause symptoms after cancer clinic (MSAC): This clinic offers advice on medical therapies to help improve menopausal symptoms. It also supplies information on lifestyle factors. These factors include sexual counselling, exercise, nutrition, and fertility after cancer treatment. 
  • Sexual Counselling Clinic (Psychosexual Medicine): Doctors trained in women’s health and sexuality run this clinic. They also supply couples and individual counselling. You can make referrals via the MSAC