No Sex Please, We're...Embarrassed!

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Aim: The aim of the article is to highlight the need for health-care professionals to consider the service user’s needs for guidance on intimate and sexual activity during and after hospital treatment.Body: This article examines the human need for intimacy, the effects of illness and aging on sexual relationships, and how the presumptions of age-related celibacy can be used as a diversion for the embarrassment of health-care professionals. Conclusion: Health care professionals should not assume that patients are not interested in retaining an intimate relationship with their partners because of chronology or ill-health. Intimacy is a basic human desire and can promote recovery and mental strength. Some patients will prefer not to discuss the subject but the opportunity to receive advice on intimate relationships should be afforded to service users’. Training should be provided in approaching the subject in a sensitive way that is comfortable for both parties. Target audience: This article was written to generate consideration for service-users’ undergoing radiotherapy and so was initially targeted at therapeutic radiographer/students, however it could be equally applicable to any health-care professional.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-22
JournalImaging and Therapy Practice
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Jan 2018


  • Intimacy
  • sexual activity
  • cancer treatment


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