Sexual Functions of Turkish Women with Gynecologic Cancer during the Chemotherapy Process

  • Akkuzu, Gulcihan (Nursing and Health Services Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Baskent University) ;
  • Ayhan, Ali (Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Baskent University)
  • Published : 2013.06.30


Background: The negative effects of gynecologic cancer on women's health is multidimensional. Sexual problems arising after chemotherapy are decreased interest and vaginal lubrication, lack of orgasm and dyspareunia and sense of reduction in sexual attractiveness in general. The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes that patients who receive chemotherapy for a gynecologic oncology disorder experience in their sexual functions. Materials and Methods: A descriptive/cross-sectional and qualitative study was performed. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was used in order to collect data on sexual capacity. The quantitative data obtained were evaluated with frequency and percentage calculations while content analysis was performed for the qualitative data. Results: All of the information related to sexuality was provided by the physician. Chemotherapy treatment affected sexuality negatively in 55.9%. Since receiving the diagnosis, 52.9% of women had experienced no sexual intercourse at all. Those who had an FSFI score of 30 and below made up 75% of the women. After the content analysis of data obtained during in in-depth interviewing, we focused on three main themes: desire for sexual intercourse, problems experienced during sexual intercourse, and coping with problems. Conclusions: An integrated system where sexual problems can be handled professionally should be present during gynecological cancer treatment.


Sexuality;hemotherapy;ynecologic oncology;omen cancer;Turkey


  1. Corney RH, Crowther ME, Everelt H (1993). Pscychosexual dysfunction in women with gynaecological cancer following radical pelvic surgery. Br J Obstet Gyneacol, 100, 73-88.
  2. Erol B, Tefekli A, Sanli O, et al (2003). Does sexual dysfunction correlate with deterioration of somatic sensory system in diabetic women? Int J Impot Res, 15, 198-202.
  3. Gilbert E, Ussher JM, Perz J (2011). Sexuality after gynaecological cancer: a review of the material, intrapsychic, and discursive aspects of treatment on women's sexual-wellbeing. Maturitas, 70, 42-57.
  4. Goker A, Guvenal T, Yanikkerem E, et al (2011). Quality of life in women with gynecologic cancer in Turkey. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 3121-8.
  5. Green MS, Naumann W, Elliot M, et al (2000). Sexual dysfunction following vulvectomy. Gynecol Oncol, 77, 73-7.
  6. Keskin G, Gumus AB (2011). Turkish hysterectomy and mastectomy patients - depression, body image, sexual problems and spouse relationships. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 425-32.
  7. Kilic E, Taycan O, Belli AK, et al (2007). Kalici ostomi ameliyatinin beden algisi, benlik saygisi, es uyumu ve cinsel islevler uzerine etkisi (the effect of permanent ostomy on body image, self-esteem, marital adjustment, and sexual functioning). Turk J Psychiatry, 18, 302-10.
  8. Kuscu NK, Oruc S, Ceylan E, et al (2005). Sexual life following total abdominal hysterectomy. Arch Gynecol Obstet, 271, 218-21.
  9. Kutmec C (2009). Kadinlarda cinsel fonksiyon bozuklugu ve hemsirelik bakimi [Sexual dysfunction in females and nursing care] Firat Saglik Hizmetleri Dergisi, 4, 12, Retrieved February 2nd 2012 from
  10. Oshima S, Kisa K, Terashita T, et al (2011). A qualitative study of Japanese patients' perspectives on post-treatment care for gynecological cancer. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 2255-61.
  11. Abbott-Anderson K, Kwekkeboom KL (2012). A systematic review of sexual concerns reported by gynecological cancer survivors. Gynecol Oncol, 124, 477-89.
  12. Akyuz A, Guvenc G, Ustunsoz A, et al (2008). Living with gynecologic cancer: experience of women and their partner. J Nur Scholarship, 40, 241-7.
  13. Papadoks J, Bussiere-Cote S, Abdelmutti N, et al (2012). Informational needs of gynecologic cancer survivors. Gynecol Oncol, 124, 452-7.
  14. Persson E, Hellstrom Al (2002). Experiences of Swedish men and women 6 to 12 weeks after ostomy surgery. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs, 26, 298-305.
  15. Pieterse OD, Maas CP, ter Kuile MM, et al (2006). An observational longitudinal study to evaluate miction, defecation, and sexual function after radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy for early-stage cervical cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer, 16, 1119-29.
  16. Reis N (2003). Effects of gynecological cancers and treatment on women's sexual health. J Cumhuriyet University School of Nur, 7, 35-40.
  17. Reis N, Kizilkaya Beji N, Coskun A (2010). Quality of life and sexual functioning in gynecological cancer patients: results from quantitative and qualitative data. Eur J Oncol Nur, 14, 137-46.
  18. Salani R (2013). Survivorship planning in gynecologic cancer patients. Gynecol Oncol, 5, 22.
  19. Stilos K, Doyle C, Daines P (2008). Adressing the sexual health needs of patients with gynecologic cancers. Clin J Oncol Nur, 12, 457-63.
  20. Wilmoth MC, Spinelli A (2000). Sexual implications of gynecologic cancer treatments. JOGNN, 29, 413-21.

Cited by

  1. Parathyroid Hormone Gene rs6256 and Calcium Sensing Receptor Gene rs1801725 Variants are not Associated with Susceptibility to Colorectal Cancer in Iran vol.15, pp.15, 2014,
  2. Determination of Sexual Problems of Turkish Patients Receiving Gynecologic Cancer Treatment: a Cross-sectional Study vol.15, pp.16, 2014,
  3. Clinical Study on Carboplatin for Treating Pediatric Patients with Wilms Tumors vol.15, pp.17, 2014,
  4. Discussing Sexuality with Cancer Patients: Oncology Nurses Attitudes and Views vol.15, pp.17, 2014,
  5. Functional Status in Turkish Women with Gynecological Cancer vol.15, pp.5, 2014,
  6. Sexual and fertility adverse effects associated with chemotherapy treatment in women pp.1744-764X, 2014,
  7. Prevalence of Anxiety May Not be Elevated in Thai Ovarian Cancer Patients Following Treatment vol.16, pp.3, 2015,
  8. Turkish Nursing Students’ Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Sexual Health vol.33, pp.2, 2015,
  9. Psychological Problems Experienced by Women with Gynecological Cancer and How They Cope with It: A Phenomenological Study in Turkey vol.41, pp.3, 2016,
  10. Living with cancer challenges: a qualitative analysis of cancer patients’ perceptions in Iran pp.1613-2238, 2017,