Sexuality and Illness
This information is not written or provided as a treatment guideline but rather suggestions for your
sexual health. Please consult with your health care professional if you have concerns or questions.
Compiled by Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW. OSW-C. Life with Cancer ®. Fairfax, VA,
Adequate lubrication is an important part of positive sexual interaction. Below are listed lubrications that
are widely available in pharmacies over the counter. This does not attempt to be a complete list and
lubrications are not contraceptives.
Vaseline and other petroleum-based gels are not recommended because they are not water-soluble. They
also weaken latex and can cause condom tears.
K-Y Personal Lubricants
Replens: Inserted by applicator.
Lubrin: A suppository (good for women post radiation). Most post-menopausal women find this is a helpful
lubricant because it lasts longer.
Femigel: Natural product from tea trees. For vaginal dryness. Order on web www.gardenco.uk/
Sylk: Natural product from kiwi fruit vine and purified water. Marketed through Whole Foods. Call 1-888-
853-4773 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wet: Often only found in adult erotica stores. Very little residue and is not as sticky as some.
Vitamin E oil: Available in health food stores. Get as oil and make sure it is only vitamin E for no irritation.
Long lasting. (Not to be used as a lubricant with sexual activity, but as one to help with dryness and help
improve elasticity of vagina)
Albolene - This is not sold as a lubricant, it's actually a makeup remover. It is made up of petrolatum,
mineral oil, ceresin, and paraffin. This is oil-based, so do not use with latex condoms. Can also be used as
a massage agent.
Plain yogurt – This can be used to both help with maintaining the PH balance of the vagina as well as help
with moisture. Apply internally daily with either a dilator, applicator or finger.
Vaginal Dilators and Periometers:
Ask your Dr. for a referral to the local physical therapist or gynecologist who specializes in Women’s
Syracuse Medical Devices, Inc
Cooper Surgical - Milex Dilators 800-621-1278
PMTx Periometer 888-442-4689
Pure Romance – www.pureromance.com
Information & Support (Fertility and Sexuality, Chat Rooms, Blogs, Resources)
NCI Sexuality and Reproductive Issues (PDQ) Health Professional Version:
http://www.gayhealth.com LGBT information and support
http://www.faceit.org Resource for people affected by facial disfigurement:
www.ulmanfund.org A resource for young adults with cancer
www.planetcancer.org A resource for young adults with cancer
www.i2y.org A resource for young adults with cancer
www.youngsurvival.org A resource for young women with breast cancer
www.fertilehope.org A resource on fertility information and support
Variety of discussion, chat and resources for multiple 'disabilities', including the LGBT
Sexuality and Disability Webliography (videos, devices, books, etc).
Finding a Sex Therapist: The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists,
Enhancement Aids and Information
www.pureromance.com – has a survivorship section on their website
Ellsworth, P. (2003) One Hundred Questions & Answers about Erectile Dysfunction. Sudbury, MA:
Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Foley, S., Kope, S., Sugrue. P. (2002). Sex Matters for Women: a Complete Guide to Taking Care of
Your Sexual Self. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Kahane, D. H. (1995). No Less a Woman: Femininity, Sexuality and Breast Cancer. 2nd rev. ed.
Alamedam, CA: Hunter House.
Kroll, K. & Levy Klein, E. (1995) Enabling Romance: A Guide to Love, Sex, and Relationships for the
Disabled (And the People Who Care About Them) Woodbine House
Laken, K. & Laken. V. (2002). Making Love Again: Hope for Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy.
Sandwich, MA: Ant Hill Press.
Leiblum, S. & Rosen, R. (2006). Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, 4th Ed. New York: The Guilford
Metz, M. & McCarthy, B. (2004). Coping with Erectile Dysfunction. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Schover, L. R. (1997). Sexuality and Fertility after Cancer. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Schover LR, Jensen SB. (1988) Sexuality and chronic illness — a comprehensive approach. New York:
The Guilford Press.
Zilbergeld, B. (1999). The New Male Sexuality: The truth about men, sex and pleasure. New York: