Complications of vaginal cancer

Treatment for vaginal cancer can have a significant emotional impact, particularly in women who have not yet reached the menopause and need to have radiotherapy or a hysterectomy.

Both these treatments trigger an early menopause, which means that many women find out they will never be able to have children. This can be particularly traumatic for women who are very young when the cancer develops.

The removal of some or all of the vagina can be traumatic for pre- and post-menopausal women alike, and many women feel less “womanly” than they did before.

It is not uncommon to feel a sense of loss and bereavement after treatment and, in some women, this may trigger depression.

Getting support

Talking to other women who have had similar treatment can give you emotional support and reassurance. Your GP or the hospital staff may be able to recommend a suitable local support group or charities may provide some: 

If feelings of depression persist, your GP can arrange further treatment. Read more about depression.

The Hysterectomy Association provides hysterectomy support services, including a one-to-one telephone support line, counselling and “preparing for hysterectomy” workshops.

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