Can I have sex during bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatment for bladder cancer?

Yes. If you feel up to it, you can have sex during BCG treatment for bladder cancer. But there are some precautions that your doctor may recommend.

BCG treatment for bladder cancer involves using a catheter to instill a solution containing the BCG bacteria into your bladder. This is typically repeated weekly for six weeks.

Your doctor will give you instructions based on your particular treatment, but in general:

  • Expect side effects that may reduce your interest in sex. BCG can cause irritation of the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra) and cause flu-like symptoms that might make you less interested in sex. These symptoms should subside after a day or two.
  • Abstain from sex for 48 hours after treatment. Your body will continue excreting the BCG bacteria in your urine, so it's best for you and your partner to avoid sexual intercourse for two days after your treatment.
  • Use condoms. Use a condom every time you have sex during your treatment and for up to six weeks after treatment to protect you and your partner from the bacteria. Your doctor will make specific recommendations based on your specific situation.
  • Take precautions to avoid pregnancy. If it's possible for you to become pregnant, use reliable birth control during your treatment to prevent pregnancy.

Talk with your doctor or nurse about what you can expect from your particular treatment.

Oct. 03, 2017 See more Expert Answers