Sex and Intimacy

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

Clinical services at Peter Mac Parkville

  • Psychology services Psychologists use various approaches to help people with cancer and their families adjust to the emotional and psychological challenges of cancer.
  • Social work services Social workers can assist and provide support during cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Physiotherapy services Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can assist with mobility and physical function before, during and after cancer treatment. 
  • ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service (ONTrac at Peter Mac) This service provides support to young people between the ages of 15 and 25 years with cancer, and their families. They work with the medical team to ensure all aspects of a young person’s health and wellbeing are looked after, both during treatment and in the years beyond treatment. 
  • Optimisation clinic: This multidisciplinary outpatient clinic is for cancer survivors with complex needs. Services include a dietitian, psychologist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist. For referrals please email [email protected] or contact [email protected] for further information.
  • Sexual health and erectile dysfunction clinic: This clinic focuses on managing erectile dysfunction. It is designed for people who have had surgery following a prostate cancer diagnosis. For more information contact the patient navigator on 03 8559 8496 or email [email protected].

Other clinical services in the Parkville precinct

  • The Royal Women’s Hospital: Menopause symptoms after cancer clinic (MSAC). This clinic offers advice on medical therapies to help improve menopausal symptoms, and provides information on lifestyle factors such as sexual counselling, exercise, nutrition and fertility after cancer treatment.
  • The Royal Women’s Hospital: Psychosexual Medicine Clinic. This clinic is run by doctors trained in women’s health and sexuality, as well as couples and individual counselling. Referrals can be made via the Clinic Access Centre or the MSAC.

Guidance documents

Information for cancer survivors and their families

Women

Men

Young people

Additional resources for health professionals

Projects

  • A psychosexual intervention for couple within the first year of post-allogenic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A pilot study (current)

Principal Investigator: Brindha Pillay, contact emails: [email protected]

If you would like to advise of any relevant projects or provide feedback please email ACSC.