Cervical cancer often leads to sexuality and intimacy concerns for the affected woman within a marital relationship. This study aimed to explore physical sexual concerns and their impact on the intimate partner relationships experienced by cervical cancer survivors. Using a descriptive phenomenological approach, data were collected through in-depth interviews with Indonesian women survivors of cervical cancer. Two themes and five sub-themes were constructed from the thematic analysis. The first theme was the physical sexual concerns following cervical cancer treatment, with the subthemes: red spotting and massive vaginal discharge after having sexual intercourse; narrower, smaller and less lubricated vagina; pain during sexual intercourse; feeling of shortened vagina as if it had been cut. The second theme of impact of sexual concerns on intimate partner had five subthemes of: looking for reasons to refuse sexual intercourse; prejudice towards the spouse; feeling forced to fulfil husband's sexual needs; accepting spouse's anger; willingness to let the spouse marry another woman. The findings provide nurses with a greater understanding on how women adapt to their altered sexuality and intimacy with their partner following cancer treatments.
- Cervical cancer
- Sexual relationships