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It's best to discuss any concerns about chemotherapy and sex with your doctor, who's familiar with your individual situation. In general, however, it's usually OK to have sex while undergoing chemotherapy — as long as you're feeling up to it.
Many factors can influence decisions about chemotherapy and sex. Here are some things to consider:
What type of chemotherapy are you receiving? Different chemotherapy drugs cause different side effects. For example, if chemotherapy reduces the levels of your germ-fighting white blood cells, you may not be protected from bacteria that can be introduced into the body during sexual intercourse. Your doctor may recommend that you avoid sex until your white blood cell counts rise to safe levels.
If your chemotherapy causes a low platelet count, intercourse could cause bleeding. If your platelet count is extremely low, severe bleeding could occur.
Karthik Giridhar, M.D.
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