MINNEAPOLIS — Two-thirds of gay and bi men reported fair to poor sexual functioning following treatment for prostate cancer, Uro Today reports citing its study. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in gay and bi men.
For an online survey, 193 gay and bisexual men with prostate cancer were recruited from North America’s largest online cancer support group. Sexual functioning was measured using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) and a tailored Gay Sexual Functioning Inventory.
Gay and bi men have worse EPIC urinary and hormonal function and worse hormonal bother, but better sexual function and better scores than published norms. In the inventory, two-thirds of participants described their sexual functioning, post-treatment, as fair to poor. Only 22 percent reported erections sufficient for insertive anal sex, researchers said.
For receptive anal sex, one-third met criteria for anodyspareunia, the clinical term for pain while bottoming. More than half reported urination problems during sex or at orgasm. Erectile difficulties were common, severe and a reason cited for not using condoms.
Sexual functioning significantly predicted long-term mental and physical health. Gay and bi men scored significantly worse on mental health and better on physical health than published norms. Sexual recovery after prostate cancer treatment is problematic for most gay and bi men. Research to develop more effective sexual recovery, tailored to the needs of gay men treated for prostate cancer, is needed, researchers said.