Irish women who have suffered cervical and other gynaecological cancers are getting little advice from doctors on how their sex lives will be affected.
A new study has found women recovering from these gynaecological cancers are not getting the kind of counselling they should be receiving.
The research, led by fertility nurse Vicki Cleary at the School of Nursing in University College Cork, found this kind of advice was not as important in the initial stages of diagnosis.
However, it becomes more relevant when the women have progressed to the recovery phase.
One patient recalled an experience of asking her doctor for a stronger lubrication jelly but was denied a prescription according to the research published in the journal, 'Cancer Nursing Practice'.
"I had to ask and I was made to feel... like I was having sex with everyone,' she said.
"All participants reported receiving no information from any member of the healthcare team about the potential effects of treatment for gynaecological cancer on sexuality.
"There was frustration and anger that healthcare professionals neglected this fundamental issue," said the authors.
The study found the women were uniform in their view that a diagnosis of cancer changed their relationships for the worse.
Written and verbal information should be provided to all women on the sexual consequences of gynaecological cancer, the study found.