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Many Doctors Not Trained in Post-Cancer Sex Health

Many Doctors Not Trained in Post-Cancer Sex Health Cancer treatment can have many sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and poor vaginal lubrication. But research suggests that healthcare providers often don’t discuss sex health after treatment with their patients.

Lack of time and lack of training are likely barriers to such discussions, researchers reported. Their findings were presented at the October 2019 meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA). (Note: The SMSNA publishes the SexHealthMatters website.)

The research team sent a Sexual Health Attitudes Questionnaire to 88 oncologists and advance practice providers (APPs) to learn more about sex health conversations with patients. Thirteen healthcare providers responded.

Among this group, 31% said they “often” or “always” talked about sexual health with their patients, and just under a quarter reported “often” or “always” discussing sexual side effects of chemotherapy.

Almost half said they “rarely” or “never” referred their patients to a sex health professional if needed.

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