Best Sex Toys for Women with Cancer. A Sex Educator's Guide for Women: Sex During & After Cancer Treatment. Pleasure and sex amid cancer are possible. Learn from a Sex Educator how women can have sex during and after cancer treatment.
Best Sex Toys
for Women with Cancer
This post was last updated on January 18, 2022 at 9:16 a.m.
When you receive a cancer diagnosis, sex may be the furthest thing from your mind. You’re in survival mode, grieving the loss of your former self, and figuring out what next.
At some point, you start craving a return to normalcy in all parts of your life, including sex. Although this may be hard to believe, sex and pleasure are still very important during and after cancer treatment.
When and how long it takes for sex to come back into the picture is variable. Factors include:
what was your sex life before your diagnosis
the treatments you receive
how your partner(s) handle the news
Newer treatments mean that you have time to figure things, like sex, out. That's because cancer survivors live longer & richer lives than ever before.
Many health care providers do NOT discuss sex and common sexual issues with their patients. Don't be ashamed or shy about asking questions. If your healthcare team can not help you, find someone who can!
There are many common sexual issues experienced by female cancer patients during and after cancer treatment.
40-100% of cancer survivors report some of sexual dysfunction.
Sexual dysfunction includes:
lack of desire
pain with sex
It’s ok if you don’t want to think about sex during your treatment or early survivorship. It's normal to experience painful sex during or after cancer.
Tip: There’s no timeline to get back to sex. Get back to sex when you are ready.
Sexual Side Effects
During and after cancer treatment, you can experience some sexual side effects.
You can divide these effects into three types:
Sexual side effects directly impact your sexual & reproductive organs (e.g. uterus, vulva, breast) and the hormonal systems that rule them (e.g ovaries, pituitary gland, etc).
Impacting your sexual and reproductive system can lead to changes in your:
pain during sex
A common issue woman with cancer and female cancer survivors face is painful sex. One cause of painful sex is lack of proper personal lubrication. Lack of lubrication can be the result of many things:
- side effects of medication
- infections and inflammation
- trauma or irritation to the vulva
- lack of foreplay
2. Non-sexual physical
Non-sexual physical side effects don’t impact your sexual & reproductive organs but still impact sex directly. These non-sexual physical side effects include:
acne swelling in your extremities (lymphedema)
nerve damage & pain
other physical changes
3. Psychosocial & emotional
Psychosocial and emotional side effects don’t impact sex but do impact the context in which sex happens. These side effects include:
ability & willingness to be vulnerable
ability & willingness to connect
You may feel betrayed by your body. Or, if you had surgery, you may feel that your body is no longer yours. You may feel shame from physical side effects and not want your partner to see your body.
All this is normal. And all this is something you can work through.
Treating Sexual Side Effects
You can treat your sexual side effects.
There are both medical interventions and non-medical options. These vary based on your specific combination of side effects, but here are some examples. No option is right for everyone and you may need to explore more than one option.
Treat sexual side effects with:
vaginal moisturizers and/or lubricant
changing how you have sex & the types of sex you have
pelvic floor physical therapy
pelvic floor trainers
Treat other physical side effects with available therapies like:
compression sleeves for lymphedema
wigs for hair loss (alopecia)
medicated lotion for dry skin
physical & occupational therapy
Treat psychosocial and emotional side effects with help from a:
somatic bodyworker/sacred intimate/somatic experiencing practitioner
Please note: Any professional that you choose, should have experience working with cancer survivors.
You may also enjoy complimentary & alternative (CAM) therapies such as:
energetic healing (eg Reiki)
Be sure to discuss any of these treatments with your cancer treatment team. There might be issues between your treatment and some of these treatments.
You’ll also likely find that focusing on creating the right context for sex helps you to enjoy it.
Figure out which sex positions work for you now, both physically & mentally.
Time sex when you’re in the least amount of pain and/or time your medications so you can enjoy the greatest amount of sex.
Remember self-care, from the simple (showering, eating, etc.) to the more decadent (spa day).
Lastly, expand your definition of “sex” to include ALL sexually pleasurable activities. This includes but is not limited to:
mutual masturbation with or without luxury sex toys
kissing make-out sessions
It isn’t easy when society sends a strong message that intercourse is the be-all-end-all. And it doesn’t change that you may miss your old sex life. Yet, when you shift your definition, it allows for so much more pleasure and intimacy.
The Top . . .
BEST SEX TOYS
FOR WOMEN WITH CANCER
Due to the changes in your body, the medications you are on, or the treatments that you have experienced, your body is probably producing less natural lubricant.
Personal lubricant should be the number one addition to your bedroom. It is essential if you experience painful sex or if you want to feel more sensation. And, it makes sex and masturbation better. A good quality lubricant is important because you don't want to be putting chemicals into your body.
AH! Yes Vaginal Moisturizer
AH! YES Vaginal Moisturizer is a gel that remains in contact with sensitive vaginal tissues for up to 3 days, which is much longer than regular lubricant. For this reason, it is essential that it is formulated with natural, gentle ingredients that replenish vaginal moisture where needed.
AH! YES VM contains bio-adhesive natural hydrocolloids (plant gums) that gently cling to the lining of the vagina and release water where needed, revitalizing, rehydrating and lubricating the vaginal vault. AH! YES VM also helps to restore the naturally acidic pH balance of the vagina.
AH! YES Vaginal Moisturizer is a water-based vaginal moisturizing gel that is formulated with natural and organic ingredients. Guaranteed pure by its certified organic status, it is designed to be side-effect free and delivers outstanding rehydration.
Starts at $15
Uberlube is a luxurious premium silicone lubricant with a velvety feel and only 4 ingredients that enhances intimacy and stays on the surface of the skin for as long as you want it.
This premium lubricant is not only slippery but it has been designed to transfer sensation while reducing friction. The lube continues to last until it is completely rubbed into your skin.
It is not sticky or tacky and a little goes a long way. Uberlube is very thin and not greasy so that you can feel skin on skin (or toy) contact.
When finished, it leaves your skin soft and moisturized. Vitamin E leaves a soft smooth finish similar to a regular moisturizer. It is also an excellent lubricant if you experience vaginal dryness.
Many doctors and therapists recommend Uberlube to their patients, especially if you have sensitivities to other lubricants. This premium lubricant does not contain natural matter, which is less likely to change your pH.
Sexual stimulants also help with lubrication. These sexual aides bring more blood flow to the clitoris, which kick-starts your natural lubrication. Plus, it also helps you get aroused much faster too!
ON Arousal Oil
ON Libido Female Stimulant
ON Libido enhances your libido through a daily application of a scented lavender cream to the skin and increases your desire for sex and intimacy. For those who suffer from a loss of libido, this sexual stimulant helps the body produce a natural amount of testosterone, which is known to increase sex drive.
Silicone Dilator Set
(Free & discreet shipping)
If you experience vaginal atrophy from receiving radiation, you should try a dilator. This Silicone Dilators Set helps you strengthen and develop your vaginal muscles. Dilation therapy involves the careful, comfortable and slow insertion of vaginal dilators into the vagina.
FeMani Wand Vibrating Dilator Set
(Free & discreet shipping)
If you are ready to add vibration, then you are ready for the FeMani Vibrating Dilator Set. Each set comes with a motor with 2 smooth wands in different sizes. The graduated sizes allow a natural and effective transition and progression. FeMani's handle provides control and leverage. Developed by a female physician, these vaginal dilators have a smooth surface that is gentle on sensitive areas.
Elvie Kegel Exerciser
(Free & discreet shipping)
Strong pelvic floor muscles are important for control of urination and bowel movements, normal sexual function, and stability of your abdomen and spine. The Elvie Kegel Exerciser is a pelvic floor trainer that helps you have a healthy and toned pelvic floor for better orgasms and sex.
Lelo Beads Plus
LELO Beads Plus is a set of six interchangeable weighted Kegel beads/balls for pelvic floor strength training.
LELO Beads Plus work to strengthen your vaginal wall and pelvic floor muscles through more effective Kegel exercising. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles promises an array of benefits, including improving muscular control.
Each set of Kegel balls contains a rubber-silenced inner ball that roll freely inside. When placed inside the vagina, the Kegel balls deliver a subtle, movement-induced vibration that motivates your pelvic floor muscles to contract for a comfortable Kegel workout.
Sex During & After Cancer Treatment
Having a pleasurable sex life as a cancer patient or recovering from cancer is possible. You just need to be in the right mind space and have the right tools. My Secret Luxury is your guide on your road to finding your pleasure again.