Managing female sexual dysfunction.
OBJECTIVE: Provide an overview of sexual dysfunction in female urologic cancer patients, approaches for assessing sexual problems, and interventions to treat sexual dysfunction in this patient population. METHODS: A review of the literature in urologic oncology was conducted. Research on other female pelvic cancers with similar treatments was also reviewed. RESULTS: Sexual health is an important element of women's quality of life that is often not discussed and problems remain unaddressed. Urologic cancer treatments commonly result in sexual dysfunction (e.g., dyspareunia, vaginal dryness, problems with orgasm) in female patients, although more research is necessary to understand the impact of non-surgical treatments (e.g., radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy). As such, provider teams should complete necessary screening for sexual dysfunction during and after treatment. The 5 A's model (i.e., Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange Follow-Up) provides a helpful guide for communicating about and addressing sexual health concerns with patients during the screening process. If it is determined that referral for further assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunction is needed, a number of non-pharmacologic (e.g., pelvic floor physical therapy; psychosexual counseling) and pharmacologic treatment approaches are available. CONCLUSION: Sexual dysfunction is common in female urologic cancer survivors. Routine assessment and appropriate referral are essential for high quality patient care.
Arthur, SS; Dorfman, CS; Massa, LA; Shelby, RA
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)