Leslie Schover Discusses Cancer Treatments That Can Affect Sexual Function

September 18, 2015
Leslie Schover, PhD

Leslie Schover, PhD, clinical psychologist and professor of behavioral science at University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses cancer treatments that can affect patients' sexual function.

Leslie Schover, PhD, clinical psychologist and professor of behavioral science at University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses cancer treatments that can affect patients’ sexual function.

For men, pelvic surgeries such as radical prostatectomy, radical cystectomy, or abdominal perineal resection can damage nerves involved in directing blood flow to the genital area.

Chemotherapy poses problems for premenopausal women because they often experience hot flashes, severe vaginal dryness and pain, and end up in premature ovarian failure.

Aromatase inhibitors, which are used for treatment of breast and ovarian cancers, stop the production of estrogen and result in vaginal dryness, tightness, and pain. In one study, Schover found that about 25% of sexually active women stopped having sex in the first 2 years after taking an aromatase inhibitor.