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Sexual function affected by stem cell transplant according to long-term study
Date:9/18/2007

study participants completed an assessment of their sexual health at the clinic, and, after the procedure, surveys were mailed to the patients to complete at the six-month interval and after one, two, three, and five years. The response rate to the questionnaire averaged 84 percent with all participants completing one or more surveys during the five-year period.

The surveys included 37 questions in the areas of interest, desire, arousal, orgasm, satisfaction, activity, relationship, masturbation, and sexual problems. The male and female versions had the same content except for variations in the problems section according to sex. In addition, those who were not sexually active were provided with a list of possible reasons and asked to mark as many as applied.

At five years, the assessments were compared against a control group consisting of siblings or friends of the study patients that were within five years of the participants age and who were of the same gender, ethnicity, race, and educational background. If a local match was not available, the researchers recruited volunteers from the community that fit the criteria.

At the six-month mark, both genders had decreased sexual activity, but, by one year, sexual activity for the majority of the men (74 percent) had recovered to the levels seen at the beginning of the study. For women, recovery of sexual activity took longer, with just over half (55 percent) returning to sexual activity after two years. Though sexual activity was restored for these patients, for those who were sexually active at the five-year mark, 46 percent of the men and 80 percent of the women reported problems that disrupted sexual function.

According to the researchers, sexual dysfunction in transplant patients is likely caused by systemic therapies, such as total body irradiation and chemotherapy drugs known as alkylating agents, which are known to permanently damage endocrine glands that play a critical r
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Contact: Laura Stark
lstark@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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