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Intimacy and Multiple Myeloma

Being diagnosed with a blood cancer like multiple myeloma may affect you in a number of different ways. You may have concerns about how it will affect your current or future relationships, including sex and intimacy.

People with multiple myeloma may:

  • Experience pain that makes sex difficult to enjoy
  • Feel depressed or anxious or have little or no interest in sex
  • Be too weak or too tired to spend time being intimate

Treatment side effects can also interfere by causing:

  • A lessened desire for intimacy
  • Changes in overall mood
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Pain or dryness for women during sex

Although it can be hard to talk about intimacy and sex, it’s important to tell your partner how you feel.

Talk to your doctor and nurse, too. They may be able to help you manage the issues causing your sexual problems or refer you to a counselor who can help bring more satisfaction to your sex life.

Talk to your doctor:

  • Sexual challenges for women and men caused by multiple myeloma and its treatment may be helped by addressing medical, relationship, and emotional needs
  • Solutions may include medication your doctor can suggest or working with a therapist who specializes in sexual relationship issues—or a combination of both

Remember: Intimacy is about more than sex. You can be emotionally close, let your guard down, and share how you really feel to become close to your partner and feel like you are in it together.

Related information

Affording Multiple Myeloma Care

Explore resources to help you pay for treatment and other free services.

Additional Resources

Find out about the multiple myeloma community and available support.

Understanding Multiple Myeloma

Learn about multiple myeloma, a rare type of cancer that affects the blood and bones.

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