Sexual function of women surviving cervical cancer

The objective of this study was to evaluate the sexual function of survivors of cervical cancer (CC) in comparison to the control group of women without a history of cancer.

This was an observational, analytical, case-control study. In the cancer group, women subjected to CC treatment of at least 3 months in the past were included. For each survivor, one random selection from a base population control group was made of a woman without a history of cancer and with similar socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The sexual function was evaluated through the female sex function index (FSFI) instrument. Data collection occurred through the application of questions in a face-to-face interview.

In the cancer group, 64.9 % related vaginal stenosis or shortening; 59.5 % were not sexually active and of those which had sexual relations, 80 % showed dysfunction. The total FSFI score varied between 9.60 and 35.10 in the cancer group and 23.90 and 36.00 in the control group. The means of the cancer group were statistically inferior to the control group in all the FSFI domains and in the total score. The mean total score was 21.72 in the cancer group, classified as sexual dysfunction when considering a score of 26 as the cutoff point.

CC treatment was found to have a negative impact on the sexual function of women. Further, sexual function should be monitored routinely by interdisciplinary teams to provide comprehensive care with the objective of an improved quality of life post-cancer.