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Preliminary findings on sexual functioning and urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy

Quinta Gomes, AL1; Janssen, E2; Adaikan, G3; Nobre, PJ4

1: University of Porto, Portugal, Portugal; 2: University of Leuven; 3: National University of Singapore; 4: University of Porto, Portugal

Objective: Radical prostatectomy is considered the treatment of choice for localized prostate cancer but postoperative complications, including urinary incontinence and the loss of sexual function, are frequently reported (Bill-Axelson et al., 2005; Burnett et al., 2007). The objective of the present study is to evaluate sexual functioning and urinary incontinence in men after radical prostatectomy.

Material and Methods: 50 men will be clinically assessed after radical prostatectomy with bilateral nerve sparing. After providing their written consent, a clinical interview will be conducted individually with each participant to assess sexual functioning and urinary incontinence. A battery of self-reported questionnaires will be filled out by the participants to assess medical and psychological dimensions (e.g., sexual functioning, medical history, personality and relational dimensions).

Results: Preliminary findings indicated that the majority of men presented moderate to severe postoperative complications, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. However, sexual desire remained relatively intact and the experience of subjective sexual arousal during sexual situations was frequently reported by men.

Conclusions: Despite the expected changes in sexual response and urinary function after radical prostatectomy, most men remain sexual active and positive about the ability to maintain a fulfilling sex life. This study can be expected to have important clinical implications for the future management of sexual and urinary problems associated with radical prostatectomy as it aims to contribute to the development of prevention and intervention programs directed to improve men’s sexual health, general and emotional quality of life, and well-being.


Work supported by industry: no.

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