Sexual Function in Chronic Illness

R Basson, Els Rees, R Wang, AL Montejo, Luca Incrocci

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Introduction. Direct and indirect effects of chronic disease on sexual health are frequent and complex, but guidelines for their optimal management are lacking. With improved surgical and medical treatment of the underlying disease, the numbers of men and women needing assessment and management of associated sexual dysfunction are increasing. Aim. To provide recommendations/guidelines for the clinical management of sexual dysfunction within the context of chronic illness. Methods. An international consultation in collaboration with the major sexual medicine associations assembled 186 multidisciplinary experts from 33 countries into 25 committees. Nine experts from four countries compiled the recommendations of sexual dysfunction in chronic illness and cancer with four focusing on neurological, renal, and psychiatric disease and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Searches were conducted using Medline, Embase, Lilacs, and Pubmed databases. Main Outcome Measures. Expert opinion was based on grading of evidence-based medical literature, widespread internal committee discussion, public presentation, and debate. Results. Some conclusions concerning prevalence and pathophysiology of sexual dysfunction in the context of neurological disorders, end-stage renal failure, LUTS, and psychiatric disease were made. Optimal assessment of the multiple factors affecting sexuality when one or both partners are chronically ill is outlined. Evidence-based recommendations for management are presented. Comorbid depression is frequent and independently determines prevalence of sexual dysfunction in many conditions. Conclusions. There is need for more research and scientific reporting on prevalence, pathophysiology, and optimal treatment of sexual dysfunction associated with chronic illness. Screening for and managing comorbid depression is strongly recommended. Basson R, Rees P, Wang R, Montejo AL, and Incrocci L. Sexual function in chronic illness. J Sex Med 2010;7:374-388.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)374-388
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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  • EMC MM-03-32-04

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