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Sexual Motivators and Endorsement of Models Describing Sexual Response of Men Undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer

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BACKGROUND: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) administered against metastatic prostate cancer has significant side effects including sexual dysfunction.

AIM: To assess sexual interest and motivators for sex during ADT and to find out what model of sexuality best describes the sexual experience for men during this treatment.

METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to patients who had received ADT for ≥6 months. Patients were asked to choose all relevant entities from a list of sexual motivators and between models of sexuality described by Masters and Johnson (excitement and physical experiences), Kaplan (sexual desire), and Basson (intimacy and closeness to partner). Erectile function was assessed by the Erection Hardness Scale, and sexual satisfaction was measured on a scale from 0 to 10.

OUTCOMES: Sexual activity, erectile function, sexual satisfaction, and motivators for sexual interest in the study subjects as well as the proportion of participants who endorsed either of the 3 models of sexuality.

RESULTS: A total of 173 men were invited, and 76 returned the questionnaires (44%). The median age was 76 (range 69-80) years, and the median duration of ADT was 30 months. A total of 62 men had been sexually active before ADT, and of these, 2 were still active. Another 29 were interested in sexual activity. 3 men endorsed the Masters and Johnson model, whereas the remaining participants did not endorse any of the models. The motivators for sexual interest were feeling an emotional connection to the partner (n = 16), sexual desire (n = 10), satisfaction of the partner (n = 8), fear that the partner would leave (n = 4), achieving orgasm (n = 3), and a desire to feel masculine (n = 1). No one was interested in sexual activity to reduce stress or to maintain confidence. Only 1 patient had erections sufficient for penetrative intercourse, and the median sexual satisfaction for the entire group was 0 (interquartile range: 0-5).

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Sexuality and sexual function should be addressed in men undergoing ADT.

STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: The main strength of our study is that we are the first to explore both motivators for sexual activity and endorsement of sexual models in men undergoing ADT. The study is limited by the relatively low number of participants and the response rate of 44%.

CONCLUSION: ADT is detrimental to sexual function. However, many patients maintain an interest in sexual activity, which does not fit our established models. Rather, factors such as keeping an emotional connection with a partner play a role. Fode M, Mosholt KS, Nielsen TK, et al. Sexual Motivators and Endorsement of Models Describing Sexual Response of Men Undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer. J Sex Med 2020;17:1538-1543.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe journal of sexual medicine
Volume17
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1538-1543
Number of pages6
ISSN1743-6095
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

ID: 61514672