Find a Sexuality Specialist

MULTIDISCIPLINARY CLINICS TREATING CANCER-RELATED SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION

A few major cancer centers have special clinics in which a medical and mental health specialists work together on cancer-related sexual problems. These can be ideal programs to help. However, Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program. Therefore, any mention of a professional, clinician or program cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

At Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, Sharon Bober, PhD, a clinical psychologist works with a gynecologist and other medical specialists as needed in the Sexual Health Program for Cancer Patients and Survivors.

At the Massachusetts General Hospital, Don Steven Dizon, MD, a specialist in gynecologic medical oncology directs the Oncology Sexual Health Clinic, offering multidisciplinary care including services from mental health professionals and physical therapists specializing in pelvic floor problems.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Jeanne Carter, PhD a clinical psychologist, heads the Female Sexual Medicine and Women’s Health Program. She coordinates with gynecologists and medical breast oncologists.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, John Mulhall, MD, Urologist and microsurgeon collaborates with Christopher Nelson, PhD a clinical psychologist in the Male Sexual and Reproductive Medicine Program.

At the University of Chicago, Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, FACOG, a gynecologist, heads the Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM) Clinic for Women and Girls with Cancer. Two gynecologists collaborate with nurse practitioners and other professionals to provide education, counseling, and medical treatment.

At the University of Michigan, the Center for Sexual Health is located in the Department of Social Work in the East Ann Arbor Health Center. It is staffed by social workers with specialized training in sexuality and chronic illness, but they also collaborate closely with physicians and nurses from the medical school to provide multidisciplinary treatment.

At the Yale New Haven hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale Sexuality, Intimacy, and Menopause Clinic provides help for both men and women with staff including a gynecologist (Mary Jane Minkin, MD) and gynecologic oncologist (Ellen Ratner, MD).

EXPERT SEX THERAPISTS

These professionals were included because of their known experience with sex and cancer as researchers and clinicians. Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program. Therefore, any mention of a professional, clinician or program cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. See also Multidisciplinary Clinics Treating Cancer-Related Sexual Dysfunction.

Stanley Althof, PhD Center for Marital and Sexual Health, Palm Beach, FL

Lisa Anllo, PhD Behavioral Healthcare Network, Buffalo, NY

Sarah Auchincloss, MD, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY

Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C, Life With Cancer, INOVA Cancer Services Program, Fairfax, VA

Lori Brotto, PhD, Tri-Cities Sexual Health Services, Port Moody, BC, Canada

Kristen Carpenter, PhD, Ohio State’s Women’s Behavioral Health, Columbus, OH

The Center for Intimacy after Cancer Therapy (CIACT), Bethesda, MD 

Kristine A. Donovan, PhD, MBA, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Katherine N. Duhamel, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Sallie M. Foley, LMSW, University of Michigan Social Work, Ann Arbor, MI

Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH

Ursula Ofman, PsyD, Sex Therapy New York, New York, NY

Michael Perelman, PhD, NY Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, New York, NY

Jennifer Barsky Reese, PhD, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA

John W. Robinson, PhD, Southern Alberta Cancer Institute, Calgary, AL, Canada

Mindy R. Schiffman, PhD, NYU Langone Center, New York, NY

Stephen Snyder, MD, Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai, New York, NY

EXPERT GYNECOLOGISTS

These professionals were included because of their research or clinical work with sex and cancer. Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program.  Therefore, any mention of a professional, clinician or program cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. See also Multidisciplinary Clinics Treating Cancer-Related Sexual Dysfunction.

Cynthia A. Bergman, MD, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA

Robyn B. Faye, MD, Abington Primary Women's Health Group, Jefferson Health, Blue Bell, PA (Philadelphia area)

Vanessa Kennedy, MD, The University of California at Davis Health System, Davis, CA

Michael Krychman, MD, The Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship, Newport Beach, CA

David, N. Kushner, MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, WI

Lisa Larkin, MD, Internal Medicine and Women's Health, Cincinnati, OH

Leah Millheiser, MD, Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, CA

James A. Simon, MD, Private Practice, Washington, DC

EXPERT UROLOGISTS AND MALE SEXUAL MEDICINE SPECIALISTS

These professionals were included because of their research or clinical work with sex or fertility and cancer. Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program. Therefore, any mention of a professional, clinician or program cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. See also Multidisciplinary Clinics Treating Cancer-Related Sexual Dysfunction.

Stuart D. Boyd, MD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Irwin Goldstein, MD, Sexual Medicine Program, Alvarado Hospital, San Diego, CA

Mohit Khera, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Larry I. Lipshultz, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Milton M. Lakin, MD, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Allen D. Seftel, MD, Cooper Health System, Marlton, NJ

Paul Turek, MD, The Turek Clinic, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA

UCLA Male Urology program includes several specialists in male sexual problems, Los Angeles, CA

Run Wang, MD, UT McGovern School of Medicine, Houston, TX

With decreasing insurance coverage for surgery to put in a penile prosthesis, Surgeo.com is an online service that helps men compare the costs of complete packages offered by expert surgeons. 

RESOURCES FOR THE LGBT CANCER COMMUNITY

The information provided in this list is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. 

The National LGBT Cancer Project and their online support group Out with Cancer

The Mary-Helen Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer is located in Washington DC and can be contacted by phone: 1-866-628-8637 or by email: mautner@mautnerproject.org, or through their website

Lesbian Cancer Initiative, which provides education and support groups through The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Address: 208 West 13th St., New York, NY 110011, Phone: 212-620-7310 Ext. 258

Long Island Lesbian Cancer Initiative (LILCI) Address: 471 North Broadway #123, Jericho, NY 11753, Phone: 1.888.LILCI.NY, E-mail: info@lilci.org 

MaleCare.org provides information and support for gay and bisexual men and other underserved groups

SAFER SEX RESOURCES

These are resources giving information about learning to have safer sex. The information provided in this list is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. 

Books

The Complete Guide to Safer Sex by Ted McIlvenna (Editor), Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, Clark Taylor (Editor), Barricade Books, 1999.

The Hot Guide to Safer Sex: The Ideas You Want, the Information You Need to Keep It Sexy and Safe When You're "Doin the Deed" (Positively Sexual) by Yvonne K Fulbright, Hunter House, Inc., 2003.

The Naked Truth About Sex: A Guide to Intelligent Sexual Choices for Teenagers and Twentysomethings by Roger W. Libby, Freedom Press, 2006.

Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same-Sex Couples by Glenda Corwin, PhD, Seal Press, 2010.

Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex by Joan Price, Seal Press, 2011

Online Guides

Guide to Safer Sex

Just Say Yes Safe Sex

RELIGION AND SEXUALITY RESOURCES

Self-help books on sexuality from a particular religion’s point of view. The information provided in this list is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. 

Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy by Shmuel Boteach , New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000. A controversial book by an English Orthodox rabbi about the joys of sex Jewish style 

The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism by Danya Ruttenberg, New York: NYU Press, 2009. A book of essays from various Jewish scholars on sexuality and the Jewish faith 

Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations by Muhammad Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. United Kingdom: Huma Press, 2008 (http://www.humapress.com/publication.html) 

Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide by Ekram Beshir & Mohamed Rida Beshir,  Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 2005 

Body in Context: Sex and Catholicism by Gareth Moore, New York: Continuum, 2005. An overview of Catholic teachings about sex and their origins 

The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment by Clifford L. Penner and Joyce J. Penner, New York: Nashville, TN:Thomas Nelson, 2003. A sex manual from the Evangelical Christian point of view 

Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage by Ed M.D. Wheat & Gaye Wheat, Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2010. A guide to sex from a Protestant Christian viewpoint 

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses by Donna Freitas, New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2010. A view of how casual sex on college campuses does not square with students’ spiritual beliefs 

The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible by David M. Carr, New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2005. A Christian view of sex in the Bible 

The Power of Tantra: Religion, Sexuality and the Politics of South Asian Studies by Hugh B. Urban, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009. A scholarly book about the Tantric tradition 

The Hindu Erotic: Exploring Hinduism and Sexuality by David Smith, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2012. A look at how the Hindu religion views sexuality 

The Tao of Love and Sex by Jolan Chang, New York: Penguin, 1991. A modern interpretation of using the Taoist system of ritual sex

SEXUALITY-RELATED PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

The information provided in this list is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. 

American Association of Sex Educators, Therapists, and Counselors (AASECT) does provide a directory of referrals. Ask a potential therapist about her or his licensure, certification, and experience with cancer patients and survivors.

The American Physical Therapy Association has a Section on Women's Health including a national directory of certified providers

International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) provides education and news, but not referrals

The International Society for Sexuality and Cancer (ISSC) has not held a meeting in several years but still has a web site

The International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH), has an ISSWSH directory of health care professionals

The Scientific Network on Female Sexual Health and Cancer an international network of clinicians, researchers and healthcare professionals promoting evidence-based help for sexual issues in women and girls with cancer

The Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) has somewhat stricter standards for membership than AASECT and also has a directory. Ask a potential therapist about her or his licensure, certification, and experience with cancer patients and survivors.

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society™ provides information and a directory of nurses by geographic area

Help with Fertility Issues

HELP FINDING A FERTILITY PRESERVATION PROGRAM

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

The Alliance for Fertility Preservation has a fertility preservation clinic finder called Fertility Scout which allows you to search by location and even set up an initial appointment. Your oncologist can also use it to refer you to a clinic offering fertility preservation

Livestrong Fertility is a website with a variety of information on fertility and cancer 

The web site of The Oncofertility Consortium offers information but does not currently have a feature to find a treatment center

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an annual report on Assisted Reproductive Technology Success Rates. You can use the interactive fertility clinic success rates feature to look up clinics in your area. A guide to using the statistics is also on the site

The Society for Assisted Reproduction (SART) provides statistics on success with various types of infertility treatment provided voluntarily by member clinics. It is more up-to-date than the CDC site

The Infertility Resources web site also has a variety of useful information, including clinic lists

For patients treated at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Oncofertility Program, led by Terri Lynn Woodard, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist, is available for patients who have a physician referral

For patients treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Joanne Frankel Kelvin, R.N., MSN, a Clinical Nurse Specialist, coordinates fertility preservation Services in the Cancer and Fertility Program

FINANCIAL HELP WITH FERTILITY PRESERVATION

The information provided in this list is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. 

Many cancer patients have gotten some insurance coverage for fertility preservation if their oncologist writes a letter explaining the risks of fertility with cancer treatment and the importance of fertility preservation. Livestrong provides information and examples of letters. It may help if you bring the template to your oncologist, making his or her job easier.

Under the Affordable Care Act, you also can appeal if your insurer denies coverage for fertility preservation. The nonprofit organization Fertile Action has put together a step-by-step guide to urgent insurance appeals, including how to use your state's laws to appeal an insurance denial. They also provide examples of letters of medical necessity.

A number of infertility clinics discount their prices for women with cancer. Some are members of the Livestrong Infertility discount program (note that clicking this link downloads the application), which is for women whose annual household income is less than $115,000 if single or $150,000 if married. For a list of participating clinics you can use the online link or call 855-220-7777. 

A program from Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, H.E.A.R.T.beat, offers the medication needed for a hormone stimulation cycle before cancer treatment for free, without any income limits for patients. You can also call 1-888-347-3415 for more information.

Reprotech, a company offering fertility preservation services in several states, has a program, Verna's Purse that may cover the storage costs of sperm, eggs, or embryos for cancer survivors

The UNIVFY web site includes a useful list of other companies that offer discounts to patients on the infertility drugs they make 

The advocacy group Fertile Action specializes in helping women with fertility preservation before cancer. They offer a discount program called P.A.C.T. for Parenthood after Cancer Treatment that may discount the costs of fertility preservation, long-term storage, egg donation, or a gestational carrier

The national organization Resolve, which advocates for people with infertility of all types, also has resources on affordability its web site: Resolve.org

BANKING FOR SPERM, OOCYTES, OR EMBRYOS

These are some of the major sperm banks in the USA that offer cryopreservation and storage of sperm (and also oocytes or embryos). The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

California Cryobank

Cleveland Clinic’s Reproductive Tissue Bank

Fairfax Cryobank

Reprotech

Xytex

ADOPTION AND THIRD PARTY PARENTING AFTER CANCER

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Gina Shaw, a cancer survivor herself, has published a book called Having Children After Cancer: How to Make Informed Choices Before and After Treatment and Build the Family of Your Dreams (Celestial Arts, 2011). She had breast cancer and adopted. The sections on adoption and third-party parenthood are especially helpful and suggest many resources

The Oncofertility Consortium has an online list of adoption agencies that may be willing to work with cancer survivors: Cancer Friendly Adoption Agencies

Adoption Magazine publishes an annual Adoption Guide that summarizes a great deal of helpful information 

Creating a Family is a nonprofit organization that provides information about adoption and third-party reproduction. It includes a web site, blog, and a radio show

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine publishes Third-Party Reproduction: A Guide for Patients. Birmingham, AL: American Society for Reproductive Medicine

The web site Surrogate Mothers Online offers information about surrogacy and also includes a matching feature for those who may not want to use an agency

Embryo Adoption Awareness Center promotes embryo adoption using agencies

Miracles Waiting is a nonprofit organization that helps match couples with embryos to those wanting them

Several agencies bring intended parents together with women willing to be paid gestational carriers or surrogates. One of the well-known ones is Reproductive Possibilities. In looking at agencies, look for high quality screening and emotional support for both the woman carrying the pregnancy and the intended parents, as well as their legal expertise with the maze of state laws.

ATTORNEYS EXPERT IN FERTILITY PRESERVATION, ADOPTION, AND THIRD-PARTY PARENTHOOD

Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program.  Therefore, any mention of a professional, clinician or program cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation. The following resources are listed because of their specialized legal practice and/or writing on fertility issues.

The patient advocacy group RESOLVE has a guide to finding expert attorneys to help with complex issues like third party parenting, and also has a national directory of attorneys who specialize in fertility-related issues.

Melissa Brisman, Esq.

Nanette Elster, JD, MPH

The Crockin Law and Policy Group

International Fertility Law Group

Raegen N. Rasnic, J.D.

FERTILITY-RELATED PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Alliance for Fertility Preservation (AFP)

American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)

International Society for Fertility Preservation (ISP)

Issues Related to Reproductive Health and Cancer

Inherited Cancer Syndromes

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

My Health Portrait is a tool from the Surgeon General that will create a Family Tree chart for you

To find an expert cancer geneticist or genetic counselor: National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetics Service Directory

Advocacy organizations for people with inherited cancer syndromes include:

Bright Pink 

FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) 

Sharsheret (for Jewish women at risk of inherited cancer) 

Hereditary Colon Cancer Takes Guts

I Have Lynch Syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

Special Problems Related to Cancer Treatment

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

The National Lymphedema Network is a nonprofit organization to help women cope with arm or leg swelling after cancer surgery

The United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. publishes a free, quarterly Magazine for patients, called The Phoenix

Here are a few of the web sites that sell sexy pouch covers or underwear to keep the pouch in place during sex:

International Association of Laryngectomees

Web Whispers (support for people with cancer in the throat or a laryngectomy)

Amputee Coalition

BMT Support.org (support for patients and families related to bone marrow transplantation)

BMTinfonet.org (support for patients and families related to bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplantation)

About Face International (support for people with facial differences)

Aids for Incontinence or Ostomies

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

The United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. publishes a quarterly magazine for patients, called The Phoenix

Here are some web sites that sell sexy pouch covers or underwear to keep an ostomy pouch in place during sex:

Resources for the LGBT Cancer Community

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

The National LGBT Cancer Project and their online support group Out with Cancer

The Mary-Helen Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer is located in Washington DC and can be contacted by phone: 1-866-628-8637 or by email: mautner@mautnerproject.org, or through their website

Lesbian Cancer Initiative, which provides education and support groups through The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Address: 208 West 13th St., New York, NY 110011, Phone: 212-620-7310 Ext. 258

Long Island Lesbian Cancer Initiative (LILCI) Address: 471 North Broadway #123, Jericho, NY 11753, Phone: 1.888.LILCI.NY, E-mail: info@lilci.org 

MaleCare.org provides information and support for gay and bisexual men and other underserved groups

Sex and Religion

Self-help books on sexuality from a particular religion’s point of view. The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy by Shmuel Boteach , New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000. A controversial book by an English Orthodox rabbi about the joys of sex Jewish style 

The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism by Danya Ruttenberg, New York: NYU Press, 2009. A book of essays from various Jewish scholars on sexuality and the Jewish faith 

Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations by Muhammad Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari. United Kingdom: Huma Press, 2008 (http://www.humapress.com/publication.html) 

Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide by Ekram Beshir & Mohamed Rida Beshir,  Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 2005 

Body in Context: Sex and Catholicism by Gareth Moore, New York: Continuum, 2005. An overview of Catholic teachings about sex and their origins 

The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment by Clifford L. Penner and Joyce J. Penner, New York: Nashville, TN:Thomas Nelson, 2003. A sex manual from the Evangelical Christian point of view 

Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage by Ed M.D. Wheat & Gaye Wheat, Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2010. A guide to sex from a Protestant Christian viewpoint 

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses by Donna Freitas, New York: Oxford University Press USA, 2010. A view of how casual sex on college campuses does not square with students’ spiritual beliefs 

The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible by David M. Carr, New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2005. A Christian view of sex in the Bible 

The Power of Tantra: Religion, Sexuality and the Politics of South Asian Studies by Hugh B. Urban, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2009. A scholarly book about the Tantric tradition 

The Hindu Erotic: Exploring Hinduism and Sexuality by David Smith, New York: I. B. Tauris, 2012. A look at how the Hindu religion views sexuality 

The Tao of Love and Sex by Jolan Chang, New York: Penguin, 1991. A modern interpretation of using the Taoist system of ritual sex

Safer Sex Resources

These are resources giving information about learning to have safer sex. The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Books

The Complete Guide to Safer Sex by Ted McIlvenna (Editor), Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, Clark Taylor (Editor), Barricade Books, 1999.

The Hot Guide to Safer Sex: The Ideas You Want, the Information You Need to Keep It Sexy and Safe When You're "Doin the Deed" (Positively Sexual) by Yvonne K Fulbright, Hunter House, Inc., 2003.

The Naked Truth About Sex: A Guide to Intelligent Sexual Choices for Teenagers and Twentysomethings by Roger W. Libby, Freedom Press, 2006.

Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same-Sex Couples by Glenda Corwin, PhD, Seal Press, 2010.

Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex by Joan Price, Seal Press, 2011

Online Guides

Guide to Safer Sex

Just Say Yes Safe Sex

Online Dating Sites for Cancer Survivors

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Cancer Match allows people with cancer from all over the world to meet online. Some may want to date and others just to make friends or share experiences with a common diagnosis. The site allows virtual meetings of more than two people, live chat groups, events, and even support groups. 

A smaller site called 2Date4Love was established 2011 by a woman treated for Stage 4 cervical cancer. It bills itself as a dating site for "people who are unable to have sexual intercourse." So a woman with damage to her vagina and a man with severe ED could meet, date, and have sex without penetration

Testing for Sexually-Transmitted Infections

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Getting up-to-date tests for sexually transmitted infections is very important, especially if you have a new partner or think your relationship may not be exclusive. Going to a clinic or your doctor is a hassle and may be embarrassing. MyLabBox is a new service that will send you an online test kit. When you send it back, you get results in 3-5 days for infections including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas using a small swab, urine sample, or drop of blood. You can even send your partner a MyLabBox gift card to make sure both of you have recent testing.

Eve-Medical is a very new company that has developed a special swab kit that women can use at home and send in for human papillomavirus testing, as well as testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea. They are planning to start services in Canada and some other countries in late 2016, but not in the United States so far. It is important for women and men to know if they have a persistent HPV infection with strains of the virus that can, over a period of years, trigger cancer of the cervix, vulva, anus, tongue, or throat.

STDLabs offers a search by location in the US of a network of over 4,000 certified labs and licensed, board certified doctors that perform a variety of testing for sexually-transmitted infections. This service may be attractive if you want to pay out-of-pocket for testing so that it is not part of your medical record for insurance.

Sexual Health Products

VAGINAL MOISTURIZERS OR LUBRICANTS

This educational material is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace, or substitute for, professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read in this educational material.and is not intended to replace, or substitute for, professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read in this educational material.

Vaginal moisturizers are not just used before having sex, but are meant to be used several times a week (often at bedtime) to keep the vaginal lining hydrated and moist even in nonsexual situations. Most women also will want to supplement with a vaginal lubricant during sexual activity. 

Hyalo-Gyn® Gel in a tampon applicator containing Hydeal-D, a natural source of moisture, recently used in research by Dr. Schover and by colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with postmenopausal women treated for cancer. Women with severe vaginal dryness may need to use it almost daily rather than the 2-3 times weekly recommended on the standard packaging. It also helps to use some of the gel around the external vaginal entrance.

Replens® Gel in a tampon applicator; Clings to vaginal lining to keep it moist

K-Y Liquibeads® Suppository that melts in the vagina. My not be as effective as moisturizers above.

Vaginal Lubricants: There are so many water-based or silicone-based sexual lubricants on the market that we cannot provide an exhaustive list. Look for products that do not contain parabens (preservatives that are banned in Europe but also are probably overhyped as being harmful in the low levels allowed in the USA) or glycerin (also a preservative that may damage cells lining the vagina or anal canal, increasing the risk of vaginal infections in some women). Other irritating preservatives include chlorhexidine or sodium hydroxide.

For water-based lubricants, another very important feature is osmolality, a fancy word for whether the lubricant actually pulls moisture out of the cells that line the vagina, producing a drying effect after use. Sadly, many lubricants far exceed the ideal levels of osmolality set by the World Health Organization. The recommended osmolality for a vaginal product should be 380 mOsm/kg or less. Anything above 380 is not ideal, but many commercial water-based lubricants even exceed the World Health Organization’s upper limit of 1,200 mOsm/kg. It is not easy to find out the osmolality of a lubricant. Osmolality is not a factor for silicone-based lubricants. Silicone-based lubricants are more expensive, but you may need less than with a water-based lubricant. They may stain clothing or sheets and should not be used with many sex toys made of silicone.

DILATORS

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Soulsource Dilators Soulsource provides the best variety of vaginal dilators, including sizes that can be purchased individually or in several different sets of 4. They also offer more rigid dilators to use after vaginal reconstructive surgery or with vaginal adhesions.

Pure Romance Vaginal Dilators Set of dilators with 8 sizes.

PRESCRIPTION TREATMENTS FOR VAGINAL DRYNESS AND PAIN

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes, and is not intended to replace, or substitute for, professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read in this educational material. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Ospemifene (Osphena®) was recently approved in the United States as a prescription drug to treat vaginal dryness and pain after menopause. It is a pill that you take once daily (prescription needed)

Vagifem® 10 microgram vaginal estradiol suppository provides low dose to local tissues with very little escaping into the bloodstream (prescription needed) (If it does not provide enough help with dryness, some oncologists alternate it with Hyalo-GYN® moisturizer)

Estring® is like the ring of a diaphragm without the rubber cup and dispenses a slow-release dose of vaginal estrogen over a 3-month period (prescription needed)

SERIOUS VIBRATORS AND SEX TOYS

This educational material is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace, or substitute for, professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read in this educational material. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Several companies make high-tech vibrators and sex toys designed to have a wide range of vibrating surfaces, patterns, and speeds. Many are also waterproof. They can be rather expensive, but also may provide some new sensations. Some even connect to apps on your smartphone (so that they vibrate in time to your favorite music or so a partner can control your vibrator over the internet (a new thing called "teledildonics"!). A few shade over the line into the "sexual health" space, although most of the claims that devices improve "libido,", desire for sex, or other aspects of sexual function are unproven:

Crave has a line of sleekly designed vibrators as well as sex toy “jewelry”

Lelo is a Swedish company that designs unique, waterproof, vibrators (including an oral sex simulator for women) and also sells lingerie, an innovatively designed condom, and other sex-related products

JimmyJane is another company that designs and sells innovative vibrators and sex toys 

Ohmibod sells a special kegel exerciser and a variety of vibrators that link to music or apps on your smartphone

Afterglow Science makes the Afterglow®, a device that uses combination of vibration patterns and light pulses to increase vaginal blood flow. It is difficult to know if the light pulses make it more effective than a similar, less expensive vibrator without that feature. I'd love to see a comparison study. Apparently they are doing research with a medical quality version to see if it helps women with pelvic pain. 

Fiera® by Nuelle is essentially a hands-free vibrator with some added suction that may enhance blood flow into the area around the clitoris. Women are advised to use it for a few minutes before sexual encounters to get in the mood for sex before starting action with a partner. As a device it seems innovative (although it costs $250 and the repeated price to replace the suction ring after each 2 uses could get old). It certainly may help women start sex in a higher state of sexual arousal, which could be useful if they are busy and distracted, or if their partner is in the "Wham Bam, Thank You Ma'am" category. It claims to boost sexual desire, but that depends on how you define desire versus sexual arousal. I would like to see a study of Fiera® compared to using another reasonably high end vibrator in the recommended manner, to know if the claims to be different are justified.

Viberect® by Reflexonic, LLC is a vibrator to promote erections or orgasm in men after cancer or other illnesses. It costs $300 and needs a doctor’s prescription. The manufacturer suggests using it 10 minutes daily for penile rehabilitation as soon as the catheter is removed after pelvic cancer surgery. Actually has one published scientific study.

Many web sites sell sex toys. The sites below state that their mission includes education as well as entertainment. They seem to choose products that are of reasonable quality and do not have sexist attitudes, but I would take their sex education blogs with some large grains of salt: 

Babeland (also has actual stores in Seattle and several New York City locations) 

Eve's Garden (also has a "discreet" boutique store in New York City)

Good Vibrations (the "grandma" of feminist sex stores! 7 locations in Bay Area and one in Brookline, MA, also has online streaming video site)

Pure Romance (also has house parties to sell products, supports the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health)

Smitten Kitten (a sex toy store that promotes healthy products, physical store is in Minneapolis, MN)

A Woman's Touch Sexuality Resource Center (run by a physician and a sex educator, physical store is in Madison, WI)

SEXUAL COMMUNICATION

The information provided in this list is is intended only for informational and educational purposes. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

OMGYes is the most innovative online tool I have seen to learn about women's sexual pleasure. Based on a large survey of women in the United States, it illustrates the most common types of sexual stimulation that women enjoy, with the focus being on the vulva and clitoris rather than on penetration and intercourse. Real women in video clips talk about what they enjoy and actually show what they like using self-touch. The tone is realistic and not sleazy. The "Framing" section may be the best description I have seen of how distracting thoughts and the desire to please a partner interfere with women's pleasure during sex. In addition, they have built an image of a vulva that looks like a photograph that moves in response to touches on the screen. Arrows and text shows the user how to learn a specific way to give a woman pleasure with touch with voiceover feedback. OMGYes charges a subscription fee, but you can see a sample video on the home page.  

General Cancer Information

Sites with Accurate, Trustworthy Information about Cancer

 Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

The National Cancer Institute, 1-800-4-CANCER and live chat, English and Spanish

The American Cancer Society

American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Patient Site: Cancer.Net

Livestrong

The Cancer Support Community

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

Redes en Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network

Site-Specific Advocacy Groups

Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, advocacy group, or program. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Breastcancer.org and their new channel, breasthealth.org

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation (breast cancer)

Sisters Network,® Inc. (African American women with breast cancer)

The Young Survival Coalition (breast cancer at a young age)

Foundation for Women’s Cancer (gynecologic cancers)

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC)

Colon Cancer Alliance

The Colon Club

Fight Colorectal Cancer

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

National Cervical Cancer Coalition

The Yellow Umbrella (cervical cancer)

Cervivor (cervical cancer with a special focus on women of color) 

Pancreatic Cancer Network

UsToo (prostate cancer)

Prostate Cancer Foundation

Prostate Cancer Health Education Network, Inc. (PHEN) (African American prostate cancer)

Testicular Cancer Society

International Myeloma Foundation

BMTinfonet

Advocacy Groups for Young Survivors

Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

CureSearch offers information on late effects of cancer in childhood to young adulthood, with Survivorship Guidelines for the types and schedules of medical exams for different cancers.

The Wellness Community's Group Loop: information, bulletin boards, and virtual online support groups for teens aged 13 to 19 

For late teens through 30-somethings, Livestrong provides a special guide with many different resources

The organization Stupid Cancer provides resources, peer support, and advocacy for the community of teens and young adults with cancer, including an annual national conference, CancerCon

The Ulman Cancer Fund provides specialized resources and support for young adults (ages 18-40 years) affected by cancer. It is especially geared to people interested in athletics as a way of staying healthy

Childhood Gynecologic Cancer Association for girls and young women treated for gynecologic cancer

The Young Survival Coalition focuses on women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of menopause, providing education, peer support, and an annual conference 

Counseling for People with Cancer

Will 2 Love does not endorse or recommend any particular professional, clinician or program. Our listing is not exhaustive, and inclusion in our list should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

Many people with cancer could use some short-term counseling to cope better with anxiety, depression, family conflict, and changes in health or lifestyle. It can be difficult to find a mental health professional with expertise in cancer. These organizations can help, and sometimes offer free or low-cost services.

The Cancer Support Community is a national nonprofit organization for people who have had cancer, with centers in a number of American cities, as well as in Tokyo, Japan and Tel Aviv, Israel. At their centers, The Cancer Support Community offers a variety of free programs including professionally-led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and mind/body classes. They also offer bulletin board online discussion groups, as well as professionally led, realtime, online groups through their web page, The Living Room. However, they may not have a group that focuses on sexual or fertility issues.

The American Psychosocial Oncology Society has teamed with the Cancer Support Community to provide a toll-free Helpline staffed by mental health professionals familiar with oncology issues. They provide names of mental health professionals in your area who have special knowledge in treating cancer-related distress. Some are willing to treat patients for reduced fees. You can call either The Cancer Support Helpline (1-888-793-9355) or the APOS Helpline (1-866-276-7443 or 1-866-APOS-4-HELP)

Cancer Care is a national nonprofit organization that offers groups free of charge for cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones. Their online support groups are of the "bulletin board" type that is available for posts 24-hours a day. They also offer telephone groups with limited membership that meet one hour a week. If you live in the New York City area, Long Island, New York, or Connecticut, Cancer Care also offers some face-to-face groups. None are specifically about sexual or fertility issues, but some are geared for younger survivors or for people who have had specific types of cancer.