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Obstet Gynecol. 1988 Jan;71(1):15-9.

Sexual functioning after treatment of in situ vulvar cancer: preliminary report.

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Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City.


Forty-two patients treated for in situ vulvar cancer at two institutions participated in structured assessment interviews and completed questionnaires to examine postoperative sexual, marital, and psychological adjustment. Patient responses were compared with a matched sample of gynecologically healthy women. The results indicated a specific pattern of sexual disruption for the women treated for preinvasive disease. Sexual behavior patterns appeared to be maintained, as was the desire phase of the sexual response cycle. However, there was specific disruption of the phases of excitement and resolution and, to a lesser extent, orgasm. In addition to a two- to threefold increase in the frequency of sexual dysfunction, 30% of the sample was sexually inactive at follow-up. Although replication of these findings is necessary, this investigation suggests that sexual functioning correlates with the magnitude of treatment.

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