Sex and Illness Support

Personalized sex therapy for those with chronic illness, cancer, or pain

Pain, Cancer, and Illness Can Make Sexual Intimacy Difficult

A happy and healthy sex life is something we all deserve. But sometimes, illness and pain get in the way of experiencing pleasure and the closeness that can come with sexual intimacy. But there are treatments available that can support the return to a more gratifying and connected place. 

What is Sex and Illness?

Illness and pain can be challenging to one’s sex life and intimate relationships. Cancers, especially prostate cancer, breast cancer, and gynecological cancer, as well as chronic pain, chronic illness, and spinal cord injuries, and even some medical treatments can leave you feeling sick, tired, and depressed. These illnesses can even make your body behave in ways that it never did before.

But that does not mean you need to abandon the thought of sex and intimacy. With the right support and therapeutic treatments, you can regain some of what you once had.

Illness Does Not Have to Spell The End of Sex and Intimacy

While there are real practical and physical concerns to address when dealing with chronic pain, illness and sex, they don’t have to stop you from experiencing your sexuality or intimate moments with your partner.

At the Tri Health Clinic, we have an extensive history of working with people during and after cancer treatments, helping them to work through not only any potential physical limitations, but the very real emotional and psychological impacts of significant illness.

Tri Health Clinic Sex and Illness Services

At Tri Health Clinic, we have a long history of working with survivors of prostate cancer and their partners, helping them to regain intimacy in the face of truly life-altering circumstances.

No matter the illness or pain condition, we employ empathy and understanding in our holistic approach to sex therapy, covering all aspects, including mental, emotional, physical, and relationship factors that have played a limiting role in an active sex life.

Our treatments are based on four major principles (education, self-knowledge, changing behaviours, and tracking change), with each one tailored to meet your specific personal needs.

We focus on education, identifying and working through sexual myths or misconceptions that may be limiting your ability to define sexual intimacy in new and exciting ways.

Together we can identify and explore your specific strengths and skills to help you better understand what you bring to the table, helping you to develop strategies for finding joy, pleasure, and connection within your new lived experience.

We do all the work to monitor and track your progress so you can focus exclusively on the work at hand. We want you to reach your therapy goals and rekindle or reinvent your sex life for years to come.

Sex and Illness Resources

Tri Health Clinic Can Support Issues of Sex and Illness

  • We take the time to help you identify, understand, and process the impact of pain and illness on all aspects of your life
  • We can build treatments and solutions around your personal strengths and the strengths in your intimate relationships to improve communication, patience, understanding, and connectedness
  • We can work with you and your partner to address how chronic pain and/or illness has impacted the relationship dynamics, identifying ways to move forward together.

Download the Tri Health Clinic's Free eBook

Discover the key to optimal sexual health with our free ebook! Packed with expert advice and practical tips, this comprehensive guide will empower you to take control of your sexual well-being. Download now and embark on a journey towards a fulfilling and vibrant intimate life.

The Sexual Response Cycle Handout

All the information from our eBook compressed into a bite-sized version.

Download the Tri Health Clinic's Free Sensate Focus Guide:

Sensate Focus is a therapeutic technique that promotes intimacy and connection by emphasizing non-sexual touch and exploration, allowing couples to enhance their sensual experiences and deepen their emotional bond. Download it directly here.

Videos

Prostate Cancer & the Unique Needs of the LGBTQIA+ Community with Dr. Anne Katz

In the mood podcast with Anne Katz

Book Recommendations

desire an inclusive guide to navigating libido differences in relationships

Desire: Desire: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating Libido Differences in Relationships

A radically inclusive, sex-positive guide to managing the inevitable libido differences in our relationships, authored by two certified sex therapists who are passionate about good sex.

Desire invites readers of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and relationship structures to shed the shame and misinformation that surround the topic of sex and instead learn from 2 certified sex therapists about how libido really works. Desire differences are one of the most common relationship issues, yet, with fewer than 1,100 certified sex therapists in the country, it can be difficult to find help. This essential book breaks the mold of the sex self-help genre, which typically focuses only on cisgender women.

ultimate guide to sex and disability

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is the first complete sex guide for people who live with disabilities, pain, illness, or chronic conditions. Useful for absolutely everyone, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation, the book addresses a wide range of disabilities — from chronic fatigue, back pain, and asthma to spinal cord injury, hearing and visual impairment, multiple sclerosis, and more. Expertly written by a medical doctor, a sex educator, and a disability activist, The Ultimate Guide provides readers with encouragement, support, and all the information they need to create a sex life that works for them. The authors cover all aspects of sex and disability, including building a positive sexual self-image; positions to minimize stress and maximize pleasure; dealing with fatigue or pain during sex; finding partners and talking with partners about sex and disability; adapting sex toys; and more.

Sexuality and Illness: A Guidebook for Health Professionals

This evidence-based guide educates and informs health professionals about promoting sexual wellbeing in the context of challenges from physical and mental health.

Sexuality is an important aspect of quality of life for many people but can be affected by a wide variety of health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, mental illness, menopause, diseases of ageing, neurological diseases and spinal cord injuries, combat injuries, and cancer. Building readers’ confidence in initiating and encouraging open communication on this often-neglected topic, Sexuality and Illness includes case studies that illustrate how to talk about sexuality and support patients with concerns about it. Making recommendations for practice and further reading, it takes into account gender, sexual, race and ethnic diversity.

This accessible text demystifies a topic that is sometimes difficult to discuss. It is essential reading for healthcare practitioners interested in providing comprehensive and person-centered care. 

Prostate Cancer and the Man You Love: Supporting and Caring for Your Loved One

Presents evidence-based guidance to help partners support their men from diagnosis through survivorship.

Prostate Cancer and the Man You Love is fully updated for the women and men who love and support a man with prostate cancer. Written by an expert in supporting men with prostate cancer and their partners, this book describes the experiences of 12 couples dealing with prostate cancer, from diagnosis through survivorship. Covering the basics of prostate cancer, its treatments and supportive care, and advice about communication between the patient and his partner, the book offers stories of real couples in every chapter. Katz offers evidence-based guidance for the partner, who is challenged in different ways to support the man as he moves from diagnosis to treatment decision making and beyond. She carefully describes the treatment options along with the side effects that affect quality of life and couple satisfaction. Additional topics include cancer recurrence and end of life care. The book ends with a chapter on selfcare and the need to put on your own oxygen mask before you support your partner.

Woman Cancer Sex

Woman Cancer Sex, Second Edition, is an accessible and comprehensive resource for women living with and surviving cancer as they navigate specific challenges related to sex and sexuality.

Women who have survived cancer remain sexual beings despite the challenges of cancer treatment, and they often have nowhere to go with their questions and concerns. This text interweaves stories from clinical practice with evidence-based tips and interventions for a range of physical and emotional side effects resulting from cancer and its treatment. Each chapter describes the experience of a woman with a particular kind of cancer and a variety of related problems, including loss of libido, physical pain, body image issues, depression, and struggles communicating with a partner and health care providers.

Written by a leading voice in the field of cancer and sexuality, this book offers essential guidance surrounding questions about sexual health for women diagnosed with cancer. It will also be of use to health care providers including social workers and sex and couple therapists. 

Saving Your Sex Life A Guide for Men with Prostate Cancer

In a straightforward style, Dr. John Mulhall guides the reader through the basics of male sexuality, explains the role of testosterone, the functions of the prostate, and the common difficulties men encounter when disease strikes. In plain language, this book spells out the causes and symptoms of prostate disease and diseases of the lower urinary tract and the approach to deal with the aftermath of treatment.

The Intelligent Patient Guide to Prostate Cancer

This book is the fourth edition of the book on prostate cancer in the Intelligent Patient Guide series. Cancer patients who take an active part in making decisions about their treatment are better able to deal with their illness than patients who relegate control to their doctors. The book provides information on all aspects of prostate cancer and equips patients with the knowledge needed to take an active part in their treatment. Topics include what is cancer, the symptoms to watch for, information about the prostate gland, reducing the risk of prostate cancer, the PSA test and other diagnostic techniques, making the decision about treatment, when to seek a second opinion, what happens when patients have surgery or radiation, hormone therapy and its role in treating prostate cancer, the side effects of all treatments, urinary control and sexual function, how to handle the emotional side of the condition, where to turn for help, and alternative and complementary therapies.

These resources are intended as a compliment to therapy under the guidance of a trained sex therapist.

TRI HEALTH CLINIC

Contact us today to book a complimentary consultation with our Intake Coordinator to match you to the best therapist for your needs.

Illness is natural and getting through that while maintaining a happy relationship and sex life can sometimes be challenging. If you’re in this position, the professionals at Tri Health Clinic are more than happy to provide support for you and your partner.

We provide sex therapy in the face of chronic illness, cancer, and chronic pain to all of Ontario, including Windsor, London, Guelph, Waterloo, Kitchener, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Oshawa, Brockville, Kingston, Ottawa.

Email

admin@trihealthclinic.com

Location

Suite 414, 797 Princess Street, Kingston ON

Phone Number

613-929-6518

Intake Coordinator Hours

Monday – Friday 9am-5pm

We take pride in responding within 2 business days or less

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