Sexual adjustment to androgen deprivation therapy: Struggles and strategies - Abstract

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


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.

Written by:
Walker LM, Robinson JW.   Are you the author?

Reference: Qual Health Res. 2011 Sep 12. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1177/1049732311422706

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21911504 Prostate Cancer Section