AFTER CANCER: REPRODUCTIVE AND SEXUAL FUNCTIONS (IMPOTENCE, LUBRICATION)

(for men) What Causes Impotence?

Impotence is the inability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection. It can be temporary or permanent, partial or complete. Things that affect sexual function include

• damage to nerves of the sexual organs

• damage to vessels of sexual organs

• damage to the sexual organs

• depression or grief

• side effect of current medications

• aftereffect of cancer medications

• fatigue

•anxiety, depression, or emotional stress

• change in emotional relationship with sexual partner

• pain

(for women) What Causes Decreased Lubrication? Decrease or Loss of Orgasm?

Lubrication and orgasm can be affected by

• hormonal changes

• medication

• damage to nerves to genitals from surgery or radiation

• damage to lining of female genital tract from chemotherapy

• damage to lining of female genital tract from local radiation

• genital infection

• depression, grief, anxiety, or emotional stress

• change in emotional relationship with sexual partner

• pain

If I Have Experienced a Change in Ну Sexual Functioning, What Can I Do?

Do not assume that sexual difficulties are due to an emotional problem. Discuss with your oncologist the changes you have noticed. Find out whether your cancer or its treatment could have played a role in the change in your sexual function. Ask whether you can expect your problems to resolve by themselves and how quickly you can expect to see a difference. Learn about everything you can do to help your sexual function recover. Treatment options include

• medications

• surgery

• individual counseling

• support groups or group counseling

• family or couple counseling

• behavioral therapy

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