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Vaginal stenosis prevention program: The evidence of practice

Russo, S1; Alves, V2; Raposo, S2; Lérias, C2

1: Portuguese oncology Institute of lisbon, Portugal; 2: Portuguese oncology Institute of lisbon, Portugal

External radiotherapy and brachytherapy, especially when combined to treat of women with gynecological cancer, can result in morbidities such as vaginal stenosis, which causes emotional stress and functional loss.

Objective: Characterize the group of women submitted to pelvic radiotherapy and / or brachytherapy, included in the vaginal stenosis prevention program; present the main difficulties identified by the women to keep involved in the program; evaluate the level of adherence to recommended prevention techniques and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

Methods: Retrospective descriptive study carried out from 2014 to 2016, involving all the women included in the vaginal stenosis program in a total of 202. The data were collected from the records prepared by the nurses at the oncosexology nursing appointment.

Results: The most frequent diagnosis is carcinoma of the cervix (58%), being the prevalent age group 40 to 60 years. We achieve high adherence to the program (94%), regardless of whether they were sexually active women or not. The choice of dilation technique rests mainly on the use of a dilator. At the time of the first medical appointment of gynecology, after treatment (between 1-3 months), we verified that 9.6% of patients that abandoned or refusal the program despite not had vaginal stenosis presented vaginal damages. The vaginal stenosis was present in women that were not involved on the preventing program. The main difficulties verbalized by the women with implication in the fulfillment of the program, are related to the pain in any one of the techniques, difficulty in touching their own body and fear in restarting intercourse.

Conclusion: The high adherence to the program of prevention of vaginal stenosis and the small number of cases of stenosis identified in the first appointment of gynecology after treatment, show the importance of this program in the improvement of the quality of life of these women and ensures the adequate clinical follow up.


Work supported by industry: no.

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