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Women's Poorer Satisfaction With Their Sex Lives Following Gynecologic Cancer Treatment

Lucia Alves Silva Lara
Jurandyr Moreira de Andrade
Flavio Donaire Consolo
Adriana Peterson Mariano Salata Romão
CJON 2012, 16(3), 273-277 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.273-277

Gynecologic cancer treatment can lead to anatomical changes in the genitalia that may impair sexual response. As a result, the authors aimed to assess women's self-perceptions of their sex lives following gynecologic cancer treatment and the impact of such treatment on sexual function. Thirty sexually active women were examined. At the first meeting with a physician sex therapist, women were asked about their satisfaction with their sexual activities prior to and after gynecologic cancer treatment, either with a partner or alone, and how many times per month they had sexual intercourse prior to the cancer diagnosis and after treatment. Women reported significantly worse sex lives and a significantly lower frequency of sexual relations following cancer treatment. All participants reported pain on vaginal penetration and feeling uncomfortable in discussing their sexual difficulties with the oncologist. The findings show that women experienced impaired sexual function, as well as poorer quality of sexual function, following gynecologic cancer treatment. Nurses should provide basic guidelines about sexual function to all patients who undergo treatment for gynecologic cancer.

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