Sexual Bother in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer Undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy. By Benedict et al. 2014
Key sentence from the paper: “…66% of men on ADT indicated greater sexual bother than that reported for age-matched controls…Sexual bother was worse among younger men and those with better sexual function prior to cancer.”
For the full abstract, see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25059094
Commentary: This paper is from the same research team as the last paper blogged. They continue to do well-designed detailed research on the psychosocial impact of ADT.
It should be no surprise that “sexual bother” is significantly higher for PCa patients on ADT than age-matched controls, particularly if they are younger and sexually active when they start ADT. However, what is surprising in this paper is that “greater sexual bother was related to greater dyadic satisfaction”. “Dyadic satisfaction” is a measure of how happy the patient is with his partner and partnership.
The authors acknowledge that they don't know how greater bother about loss of sexual function on ADT ends up associated with stronger, and not weaker (!) bonds for a couple. Their speculations about this make sense to us. They suggest that “Although couples’ communication around sexual dysfunction is often limited.., men with higher levels of distress may be more motivated to overcome communication barriers and problem-solve alternative, non-penetrative sexual activities, thereby maintaining intimacy and relationship closeness…”
They end the paper with a particular pitch that we strongly endorse, namely “Partners should be included in the sexual recovery process to facilitate open and constructive communication and joint coping efforts…”
Benedict C, Traeger L, Dahn JR, Antoni M, Zhou ES, Bustillo N, Penedo FJ. 2014. Sexual Bother in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer Undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy. Journal of Sexual Medicine 11(10):2571-2580.