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Qual Health Res. 2012 Apr;22(4):452-65. doi: 10.1177/1049732311422706. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Sexual adjustment to androgen deprivation therapy: struggles and strategies.

Author information

1
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. lmwalker@ucalgary.ca

Abstract

More than half of all men with prostate cancer will be treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) at some point during their lives. Though an effective treatment for prostate cancer, ADT results in profound changes in the man's sense of masculinity and sexuality (e.g., erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, genital atrophy and severe genital shrinkage, hot flashes, loss of muscle mass, fatigue, bodily feminization). These changes usually result in the cessation of all sexual activity. Surprisingly, some couples do find ways of continuing to have satisfying sex despite the man's castrate level of testosterone. Herein, we describe the sexual struggles that couples encounter when attempting to adapt sexually to ADT. A grounded theory methodology was used to analyze interview data. The successful strategies that couples used to overcome struggles, as well as those which seemed to exacerbate struggles, are documented. Couples adjusting to ADT might benefit from knowing which strategies are most likely to result in positive adjustment and which are not.

PMID:
21911504
DOI:
10.1177/1049732311422706
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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