Introduction/Background Sexual late effects occur for all cancer types, but are especially pronounced in patients with cancer in the pelvic organs, due to close proximity to the genitalia. In order to relieve sexual late effects, some patients are advised to use sexual aids. The devices are many, indications are based on consensus reports or expert opinions for each device, and there is little overview.
Methodology A literature review was performed based on extensive searches in PubMed, Chinal and PsycInfo. We searched for empirical research on sexual aids tested in patients with sexual late effects of cancer or cancer treatments. The search yielded 21 papers investigating vaginal dilators, 14 examining vacuum devices, 7 regarding lubricants, 2 regarding vibrators and 2 on other devices.
Results The main findings were as follows. Vaginal dilators are widely recommended after treatment with radiotherapy for gynecological can cer despite the lack of evidence that usage can reduce vaginal stenosis or improve sexual health. Vacuum and vibration was scarcely tested among women after cancer but may have a positive effect in obtaining enhanced sexual satisfaction. Lubricants could reduce discomfort during penetrative sex and enhance the pleasure of sex. The adherence to sexual aids in the trails were low. The sexual late effects had a significant negative impact on sexual function and sexual satisfaction
Conclusion In the litterature on the effect of the sexual aids the general focus was not on sexual reorientation and on sexual satisfaction. Neither did they focus on the use of sexual aids in the rehabilitation of non-genital sexuality. This seems quite contradictory to the fact that many cancer survivors may never regain the ability to perform penetrative sex.
Disclosures No disclosures
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