Don't delay your care at Mayo Clinic
Brain tumor, breast cancer, colon cancer, congenital heart disease, heart arrhythmia. See more conditions.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
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? Some types of chemotherapy can lead to changes in the lining of the vagina, which may make vaginal injuries more likely during vaginal intercourse. Normal bacteria that live on the skin or in the genital tract may be introduced into your bloodstream.
If your chemotherapy reduces the levels of your germ-fighting white blood cells, you may not be protected from these bacteria. Your doctor may recommend you avoid sexual intercourse until your white blood cell counts rise to safe levels.
If chemotherapy causes a low platelet count, intercourse could cause bleeding. If your platelet count is extremely low, severe bleeding could occur.
Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.