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Sexual outcomes of gynecologic cancer survivors

Chou, YJ1; Shih, CM1

1: Graduate School of Human Sexuality, Shu-Te University, Taiwan

Objectives: Women with gynecologic cancer may face with changes in sexual functioning resulting from the cancer itself and/or its treatment. The aims of this study were to compare sexual functioning among gynecologic cancer survivors with and without sexual dysfunction as well as to identify predictive factors of seeking treatment for sexual dysfunction.

Materials and methods: The study design was cross- sectional from Oct 2016 to Sep 2017. Premenopausal women with gynecologic cancer who showed no evidence of recurrence at least one year after complete treatment were enrolled. All cases were divided into two groups (no sexual dysfunction and sexual dysfunction). Sexual functioning and health belief model were assessed with questionnaires.

Results: 126 participants were considered eligible. 90.3% of gynecologic cancer survivors were sexual active. The mean age was 42.46.3 (23.9–51.8). 43.7% (n= 55) of those were met with DSM-V sexual dysfunction (Sexual interest/arousal disorder, n= 36; Sexual orgasmic disorder, n= 30 and Pelvic pain/penetration disorder, n= 51). Sexual dysfunction (n = 55) and non-sexual dysfunction participants (n = 71) did not significantly differ by age, cancer stage, operation, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Sexual dysfunction were positively associated with ovary cancer (P= .05) and hormone use (P= .037), and negatively associated with endometrial cancer (P= .008). Sexual frequency, satisfaction, arousal, orgasm, pain and vaginal lubrication were significantly lower or worse in the sexual dysfunction group compared with no sexual dysfunction group. Women with sexual dysfunction higher than those with non-sexual dysfunction perceived the contributing factors of poor sexual health as cancer treatment and vaginal pain. Self- perceived severity of disease (OR=2.157), and self-efficacy (OR=3.077) could significantly predict treatment- seeking behavior for sexual dysfunction.

Conclusions: Sexuality was impaired in ovary cancer survivors, but didn’t in those with cervical and endometrial cancer who showed no evidence of recurrence after complete treatment. Strengthen cognition of severity of sexual dysfunction and self- efficacy could increase intention of sexual therapy.


Work supported by industry: no.

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