According to a new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, have found that a half-day educational program can successfully help women deal with issues caused by an oophorectomy, or ovary-removing surgery.
There has been an increased number of women undergoing ovary-removing surgery as a form of cancer prevention, but many women are unaware of the psychological or sexual adverse effects of the operation. Researchers have found that just a half-day education program that teaches these women how to address these issues can successfully help them to resume usual sexual activity and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression.
According to study author Sharon Bober, PhD, many women who have inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic alterations that increase their risk for developing ovarian cancer opt for an oophorectomy to decrease that risk. After the procedure, however, women often experience vaginal dryness, a decrease in libido, a change in body image, and a decreased sense of femininity.
In addition to learning approaches to deal with these adverse effects, study participants reported that it was helpful to be part of a group of women undergoing a similar experience.
More women are having ovary-removing surgery as a cancer prevention measure, but many are often unaware of sexual or psychological side effects of the procedure. A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shows a half-day educational program can help successfully deal with these issues by educating women on how to address them.
The program taught women how to manage some of the physical and emotional difficulties that can follow ovary-removing surgery and helped many participants resume satisfying sexual activity and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, the investigators found. The study, published today in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, underscores the need to inform women about the aftereffects of this type of surgery and, critically, let them know that such problems can be dealt with successfully.