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Study ties bone marrow transplant to negative sexual side effects
Date:10/24/2013

minished sexual function in men and both sexual function and satisfaction in women.

Investigators observed a nearly 18 percent decline in sexual function in men surveyed who had received total body radiation. The same group also reported an approximate 32 percent decrease in sexual satisfaction, a 26 percent decrease in sexual behavior/experience, a 26 percent decrease in quality of orgasm, and 17 percent decrease in sex drive/relationship since their transplant. Despite these effects in men, radiation had no such reported effect in women, an effect that investigators hypothesize may be explained by inherent physiologic differences in the pathogenesis of sexual dysfunction among men and women.

In addition to documenting concrete effects of radiation on sexual function and satisfaction, investigators also observed negative sexual effects among those surveyed who had experienced chronic GVHD. Men surveyed who had developed the dangerous post-transplant complication reported a 21 percent decrease in sexual cognition/fantasy and a 24 percent decrease in the quality of orgasm since their transplant. Similarly, investigators observed a 27 percent decline in post-transplant sexual satisfaction among women surveyed who had experienced chronic GVHD, with survey respondents also indicating a 27 percent decline in sexual arousal.

When compared to men, the women surveyed suffered significantly worse effects overall, despite the fact that their sexual activity increased over the three-year survey period. Investigators concluded that this increase in activity may be explained by a corresponding improvement in female psychological quality of life post transplant.

From this research, investigators conclude that nearly half of SCT survivors are sexually inactive at three years post transplant and suggest that patients may benefit from speaking with their doctors about sex.

"It is not often that the transplant team and patient will have
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Contact: Amanda Szabo
aszabo@hematology.org
202-552-4914
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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