Prostate Cancer: Therapy Can Help Couples' Sexual Health After Treatment

Older couple being intimate.

Prostate cancer can have a serious impact on a couple's sex life, but a new study found out that couples undergoing counseling can experience some kind  of boost to their sex life.

Researchers looked at over 200 men who'd been treated for prostate cancer and put them and their wives into one of three groups: those who received three face-to-face counseling sessions; the other was offered internet-based-counseling, and the third was put on  wait list.

After a six-month follow-up (about three months after counseling), men who in either the face-to-face or web-based counseling reported an improvement in sexual function and gratifications with sex. Spousal satisfaction increases were reported in both sexes.

Those in the wait-listed group experience no improvements, suggesting that "time alone doesn't heal the issues," study author Leslie Schover, a professor of behavioral science and a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston told HealthDay News.

Men who have had prostate cancer treatment may have difficulty reaching orgasm; decreased intensity of orgasm, pain and leaking urine at orgasm.

"…The counseling program focused on the women's right to pleasure in sex and on fixing problems like postmenopausal vaginal dryness or loss of desire related to poor sexual communication," Schover said.

"We educated both partners about available treatments to restore erections and had them complete a 'decision aid' to figure out what treatment to try, based on mutual opinions," Schover continued . "If that treatment did not work well for them, we encouraged them to try another choice."

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