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How to access psychosexual services

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Before seeking help from a psychosexual therapist it is best if you speak to your medical team to check for physiological causes that are treatable.

Hopefully this section has helped you understand why your sex life has changed. If your sexual problems are specifically because of emotional difficulties following your diagnosis or due to relationship difficulties, then other forms of counselling (either individual or couple) may be more suitable than sex therapy.

Your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) may be experienced in offering psychosexual support, ask them if this is a service they can deliver or if there are services within the hospital that you can be referred to. All NHS centres should be able to off you some form of psychosexual therapy by a clinical psychologist, sometimes called a psycho-oncology clinical psychologists. Your CNS or consultant will be able to refer you for this type of therapy. Some cancer centres may also offer psychosexual services as part of their survivorship and recovery packages, either in the hospital or in a community setting, again ask your CNS or the Macmillan Information Officer attached to the cancer centre, if there is one.

Alternatively you could ask your GP if they can refer you to a sex therapist. Some GP’s have contracts set up with therapists to deliver psychosexual therapy, if yours doesn’t they may be able to source special funding from an exceptional treatment panel to refer you to specialist services. Always ask as this will highlight the need for these services to be available.

You can find a list of psychosexual therapists on the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapist (COSRT) website. The register allows you to look at therapists in your area to see if they accept NHS/GP referrals and gives you contact details so you can find out costs if you decide to pay privately. Pink therapy also have a register of therapists that work with gender and sexual diversity if you would prefer to search on their website.

Relate have psychosexual therapists and offer telephone counselling and although they charge for their services, they sometimes have contracts with GPs to deliver therapy. Costs vary depending on the Relate centre, information can be found at their website.

It is important to note that if you were affected by domestic abuse or sexual assault in your life before cancer your diagnosis and subsequent treatment for cervical cancer may make things feel more complicated. If you feel able to, please try to discuss this with your CNS so they can ensure they refer you to the right services.

You may like to visit our useful links page on sex and relationships.

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Date last updated: 
25 May 2017
Date due for review: 
25 May 2020
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