IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 30 / Issue 6 / pii/2009159

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.

Original Research

Sexual and psychological functioning in women after pelvic surgery for gynaecological cancer

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1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Family and Sexuality Studies, UZ Gasthuisberg Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2009, 30(6), 652–656;
Published: 10 December 2009

Pelvic surgery for gynecological cancer can affect sexuality through a number of anatomical, physiological and psychological mechanisms. We aimed to examine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and psychological functioning in women who underwent pelvic surgery for gynecological cancer. Fifty women who underwent pelvic surgery for vulvar, cervical or endometrial cancer in a gynecological oncology unit completed questionnaires evaluating marital satisfaction (DAS), depression (BDI-II) and sexual functioning (SSFS and an in-house Specific Sexual Problems Questionnaire). Medical records were used to obtain disease-specific data. The control group consisted of 39 healthy age-matched control women attending an outpatient screening clinic. Significantly more women with gynaecological cancer than controls reported sexual problems (83 vs 20%), including decreased desire (76 vs 14%) and impaired vaginal lubrication (42 vs 9%). Pelvic surgery was specifically related to changed intensity of orgasm (43%), reduced vaginal sensitivity (38%), vaginal elasticity (30%), superficial dyspareunia (27%), vaginal narrowing (26%) and shortening (22%). Although no significant differences were found between either group for depression (17% vs 13%) or total quality of the partner relationship, women with a history of gynecological cancer reported significant lower marital cohesion. These results indicate that although the psychological adjustment of women who underwent pelvic surgery seems to be satisfactory, they seem to be at risk for sexual dysfunctions. 

Quality of life
Sexual dysfunction
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