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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Mar 15;61(4):1078-86.

Clitoral therapy device for treatment of sexual dysfunction in irradiated cervical cancer patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, 5758 S. Maryland Ave., MC 9006, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. mschroder@radonc.uchicago.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the efficacy of the clitoral therapy device (Eros Therapy) in alleviating sexual dysfunction in irradiated cervical cancer patients.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Eligible patients had a history of cervical cancer treated with radiotherapy and self-reported sexual dysfunction of sexual arousal and/or orgasmic disorders. Patients used the noninvasive, nonpharmacologic clitoral therapy device using a hand-held, battery-powered vacuum to cause clitoral engorgement four times weekly for 3 months during foreplay and self-stimulation. Study instruments included the Female Sexual Function Index, Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning, and Dyadic Adjustment Scale. The outcome evaluation was performed at 3 months.

RESULTS:

Between 2001 and 2002, 15 women were enrolled and 13 completed the study. The median patient age and radiotherapy-enrollment interval was 43.5 years and 2 years, respectively. At baseline, all patients reported symptoms of sexual arousal and/or orgasmic disorders, and some also had sexual desire and pain disorders. At 3 months, statistically significant improvements were seen in all domains tested, including sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, sexual satisfaction, and reduced pain. The median Female Sexual Function Index total score increased from 17 to 29.4 (maximal score, 36; p <0.001). The median Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning total raw score increased from 46 to 95 (maximal score, 118; p <0.001). At baseline, the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning total T-score corresponded to the bottom 10th percentile of normal sexual functioning. At 3 months, the total T-score placed the patients at the normalcy cutoff. Gynecologic examinations revealed improved mucosal color and moisture and vaginal elasticity and decreased bleeding and ulceration.

CONCLUSION:

Our results from this pilot study suggest that the clitoral therapy device may alleviate sexual dysfunction in irradiated cervical cancer patients. A randomized, controlled trial is warranted to assess the full benefits of this approach.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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