Sexual Health During and After Cancer Treatment (Male)
We ask you to take special precautions when having sex while receiving these cancer treatments:
ξ Targeted therapies
ξ Blood stem cell transplant
ξ Radiation therapy
Chemotherapy can result in your sperm being defective. This could lead to birth defects to the
baby, including fetal death. To avoid pregnancy, use a condom and have your partner use a
birth control method as well.
It may harm the baby if you attempt to have a baby too soon after the end of treatment. We
would advise speaking to a fertility specialist if you and your partner have questions about your
fertility and having children in the future.
Protection of Self
Use a condom when having sex to decrease the risk of a sexually transmitted disease. If your
platelet count or white blood cell count is low, avoid all sexual activities until your blood counts
are normal. Low white blood counts increase your risk of infection. Low platelet counts increase
your risk for excess bleeding and bruising that may occur during sexual activity. Avoid oral and
anal sex while receiving cancer treatment due to risk of infection.
Protection of Your Partner
Chemotherapy, biotherapy and targeted therapy are present in your saliva, urine, stool, blood,
and semen for at least 48 hours after your last treatment. Protect your partner from being
exposed to these bodily fluids during oral, vaginal and anal sex. A condom may provide some
protection. Avoiding all sexual activity, even open mouth kissing, is the only sure way to protect
your partner. It is safe for you and your partner to share signs of affection and support
during your cancer treatment, such as touching, hugging and closed mouth kissing.
If you have any questions about your sexual health during and after cancer treatment, ask
your doctor or nurse.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health
needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If
you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©2/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.
All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7875.