Subjective sexual well-being and sexual behavior in young women with breast cancer

H. Kedde*, H. B. M. van de Wiel, W. C. M. Weijmar Schultz, C. Wijsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to systematically describe the nature and context of subjective sexual well-being and sexual behavior in young women with breast cancer.

Data on sexual behavior and subjective sexual well-being were collected through an internet questionnaire. Respondents were included if they had been diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 6 years and were currently 45 years of age or younger. Results were compared with a representative sample of the general Dutch population.

In comparison with the general Dutch population of women, young women still undergoing breast cancer treatment are less sexually active and have a more negative experience of sexuality. While women who had already finished their treatment had more or less the same amount of sexual activity as the general Dutch population, there were still major differences in their experience of sexuality. Particularly strong associations were found between these women's sexual well-being in relation to their relationship satisfaction, and sexual interaction competence.

In the wake of breast cancer treatment, young women have difficulty enjoying sex; it is evidently hard for them to resume their sex lives after breast cancer. In particular, women who find it hard to discuss sexual wishes and the possibilities and impossibilities associated with breast cancer with their partner experience negative consequences when trying to resume their sex lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-2005
Number of pages13
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2013


  • Sexual well-being
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Sexuality
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual esteem
  • Young women
  • Breast cancer

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