Cancer and Intimacy

Intimacy issues and concerns after cancer surgery or treatment are real and are noted as a major source of distress among cancer survivors. Not only are treatment side effects debilitating, but combined feelings and beliefs associated with intimacy also can lead to avoidance and increased anxiety within relationships.

Cancer treatment or surgery may cause changes in sexual desire and function. But it’s not always physical barriers that make intimacy hard to navigate during and after cancer. Mental and emotional barriers can cause issues – like not feeling like yourself, not feeling as attractive or not feeling like you can be close to your spouse. This may leave your spouse feeling distant or helpless. 

The Intimacy Clinic at OSF Cancer Services provides a multidisciplinary approach to help with all of your concerns.

Who needs intimacy support?

Intimacy issues related to cancer often affect people who have gone through treatment or surgery for reproductive, genital, prostate or breast cancers. However, these issues can be connected to any type of cancer. 

Benefits of Intimacy Support

The Intimacy Clinic can address a number of intimacy issues, including:

  • Vaginal dryness, itching or burning
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Decreased desire
  • Changes in body image as a result of surgery or treatment
  • Feelings of insecurity or distance
  • Anxiety and stress

What to Expect

If you’re anywhere on the cancer journey and want intimacy support, our team can help you and your spouse. The team consists of advanced practice providers, physical therapists and licensed counselors who work together to help manage and improve intimacy.

At the first appointment, you and your provider will have an open conversation about what intimacy issues are impacting you most. You and your provider will determine a course of action and next steps. 

Get Started

OSF Intimacy Clinic is available in Peoria. If you are interested in intimacy support and services, talk to your oncology care team or OSF Cancer Support Services by calling (309) 308-0200.


Insurance is billed for all facility and provider fees.