Young adulthood, for many, is a time to explore one’s sexuality; however, for young adults living with a brain tumour diagnosis, this can be difficult. Undergoing intense treatments, managing the side effects of the tumour itself, and spending more time in the hospital (and less time exploring relationships) are just some of the challenges faced by young adults. Some adverse effects that may arise include negative body image and harmful self-talk, feelings of unattractiveness, decreased sexual desire, as well as changes in sexual sensitivity. Please see the tips below to help in navigating these conversations or reach out to your health care professional for additional support.
- Prioritize self-care habits both for you and your partner. Listen to your body and give yourself what you need.
- Encourage open and honest communication with your significant other. Address your sexual health concerns at a time where you are both prepared and willing to chat.
- Normalizing talking about sex will enhance intimacy and enjoyment. If you are feeling awkward or uncomfortable, consider discussing with your partner or health care professional.
- Set aside ‘together time’ with your significant other. Minimize distractions and give each other your full attention.
- Use humour! Starting the conversation on a lighter note can help soften insecurities about discussing sexuality and intimacy.
- Discuss practical strategies to develop a new norm of intimacy as a couple. There is no right or wrong way to go about it!