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Psychological Treatment of Individual Sexual Dysfunction 

Psychological Treatment of Individual Sexual Dysfunction
Chapter:
Psychological Treatment of Individual Sexual Dysfunction
Author(s):

Daniela Wittmann

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190934033.003.0006
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date: 05 May 2021

Cancer patients struggle with sexual problems after cancer treatment. They often discover the sexual side effects after treatment and must learn how to manage their bodies, which now function differently, and work to continue to be sexually active with their partners. Recovering confidence in their ability to function in their sexual relationships means that they must grieve for their sexual losses, understand their new sensitivities, manage altered body capacities, and develop an expanded sexual repertoire. In their relationships, they must learn to communicate about their needs. If they are single, anxiety about starting a new relationship must be managed through the development of confidence that they can still be good lovers despite their altered sexual function. A thorough biopsychosocial assessment helps identify physical changes, psychological vulnerabilities, and relationship areas that will have to be addressed to maintain sexual viability and satisfaction. Psychosocial as well as biomedical interventions are needed in guiding patients toward recovering an ability to function well sexually. Reliance on multiple relevant disciplines and addressing couple issues can lead to patients’ renewed confidence and satisfactory functioning in their intimate relationships after cancer treatment.

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