Not every woman will experience sexual wellbeing problems after breast cancer, however many women do find that their sexual wellbeing is changed by breast cancer and its treatments. For more information about sexual wellbeing after breast cancer you may like to visit the Sexual Wellbeing page.
If you have sexual wellbeing concerns, you may find it helpful to talk to a health professional as they may be someone independent, with whom you can discuss problems and who can suggest strategies that may help you.
As a starting point, it may be helpful to talk to your GP or breast care nurse, as they might be able to suggest things that you can try, and can share with you strategies that have worked for other women. Your GP or breast care nurse may also be able to recommend a counsellor, sex therapist or a psychologist who can provide further support if you need it.
If after talking to your GP you decide you would like further assistance, you may like to ask about a GP mental health treatment plan. This plan entitles you up to 10 Medicare subsidised appointments with relevant health professionals such as a social worker, counsellor, psychologist, or clinical occupational therapist. For you to be eligible for a Medicare rebate, your GP will need to draw up a plan and provide you with a referral to the specialist. As the rebate may not fully cover the cost of the appointment, you may like to ask when making the appointment if there will be an extra cost for you. Talk to your GP for more information about this scheme.
The information below, lists organisations which may be able to assist you to find a sexual wellbeing expert in your area. Our online Local Services Directory also lists organisations and individuals who may be able to help you.
If after contacting the following organisations, or searching the Local Services Directory you have identified someone you would like to talk to, you may like to discuss with your GP about whether they could refer you to this person as part of a GP mental health treatment plan (as discussed above).
It's important to note also, that each of the public women's hospitals in the capital cities across Australia. run free sexual wellbeing clinics, so you may also want to talk to your GP about obtaining a referral to clinic located near you.
Relationships Australia offers relationship counselling as well as a range of specialist counselling services. Most of the counselling services are conducted face-to-face, but they also offer some online and telephone counselling services for people in remote areas (in some states only).
Fees for counselling services are negotiable. To find out more about counselling services or to make an appointment, contact Relationships Australia in your state or territory on 1300 364 277.
Australian Counselling Association
The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) is the national professional peak association of counsellors and psychotherapists. The ACA's website allows you to search for a counsellor located near you with expertise in 'Sex Therapy'.
Australian Psychological Society
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia.
The APS website features a 'Find a Psychologist' search function to help you locate a psychologist in your area with expertise in 'sexual difficulties'. You are also able to use the Find a Psychologist search function to locate a Medicare Psychologist or Medicare Clinical Psychologist.
Alternatively you may like to contact the APS on 1800 333 497.
Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists National Inc
The Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists National Inc (ASSERT National), is a group of health professionals, many of whom are counsellors, who are interested in helping people who are experiencing sexual wellbeing concerns.
To find a counsellor in your state or territory visit the Professionally Accredited Members part of the ASSERT National website, which allows you to search for sex therapists based in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Or phone ASSERT National on 02 9280 0151.
For more general information you may like to contact the following organisations:
Cancer Council Helpline
The Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 is a free, confidential information and support service provided by Cancer Councils in each state and territory. Trained staff can provide support and are available to speak about personal matters such as emotions and cancer, body image, sexual wellbeing and relationships throughout the cancer experience.
Helpline staff are available to answer your questions and offer emotional or practical support. They may also refer you to relevant services in your area. You can remain anonymous if you choose.
Cancer Council Connect - Peer Support Program
Cancer Council Connect is a one-to-one telephone support program that puts you in touch with a specially trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer and treatment. The volunteer can listen to your concerns and through a shared understanding, provide emotional support to assist you through your cancer experience. To find out more, phone the Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.