Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale


Health and environmental sciences, Social sciences



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


What is the experience of cancer treatment and sexuality after treatment for women with cervical cancer? Although the number of women with cervical cancer is low in North America, the potential for sexually devastating treatment side effects is high.

Eleven women, aged 33 to 71, were interviewed from April to August 2008 using a qualitative research design intended to capture their subjective experience. All women had received treatment from 2003 to 2008 at a small cancer centre in Ontario.

Most women felt an ongoing loss of sexual pleasure and desire, and several experienced continuing pain and discomfort during intercourse. Although individual experiences varied, all women found brachytherapy treatment, which was administered without sedation at this centre, difficult and some women implicated the trauma of this treatment in later sexual problems. Women felt that more comprehensive information and support may improve women's treatment and sexual experience.