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Gynaecological specialists at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse offer a post-cancer sexual intimacy clinic, after seeing thousands of Australian women treated for cancer in ways that can have unexpected effects on relationships.

Each year, more than 16,000 Australian women are diagnosed with breast, ovarian, gynaecological, gastrointestinal and bowel cancers. Treatment can shut down the ovaries and move female patients into sudden menopause. Many are younger women with breast cancer.

Treatment has side effects they may not have expected. Menopause can lead to lowered desire, pain or discomfort during intercourse. Treatment can also cause thinner skin, causing tears and ulcers, and a narrowed or shortened vagina.

Vaginal laser rejuvenation to stimulate natural collagen and elastic tissues is one of the services offered.

“Women can absolutely still have a fulfilling sex life after cancer but, if there are any issues we need to make sure they are sorted out early.”

– Dr Trevor Tejada-Burges.

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