Do I need to protect my partner or myself (girls)?

Yes. If you are sexually active you need to take some precautions.

During chemotherapy, a small amount of medication could pass into the fluid inside your vagina. Your oncologist can tell you if your chemotherapy medication will do this. It is best to wait at least 72 hours before having sex to protect your partner from exposure to chemotherapy.

You can get pregnant during chemotherapy, even if your periods have stopped. Each month, your ovaries may continue to release an egg. If your partner’s sperm fertilizes one of these eggs, you can get pregnant. Because chemotherapy may damage your eggs, a pregnancy during chemotherapy treatment could result in serious birth defects.  For this reason, it is important to prevent pregnancy with birth control while you are undergoing treatment.

Decide on a method of birth control and have it ready, before having sex. Talk with your oncologist if you need help choosing a method of birth control.

If you have had many blood transfusions, you may worry about getting an infection and passing it to your partner. This is extremely unlikely to happen as all blood donors and donated blood are carefully tested.

One thing you don’t have to worry about is giving your partner cancer. Cancer cannot be passed from one person to another.