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Holistic sexuality post gynaecological cancer treatment: A review of recent literature

Pitcher, S.C
Adams, T
van Wijk, L
Fakie, N
Saidu, R
Denny, L
Moodley, J
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Background: Sexual difficulties post gynaecological cancer treatment are commonplace and can impact multiple aspects of a woman’s life. Yet, health care practitioners remain reluctant to discuss sexuality from a holistic perspective with their patients. Aim: This article reviewed the literature on sexuality post gynaecological cancer treatment from the last 10 years. The aim was to understand research trends as well as identify gaps in the field. Methods: The review was framed using the neo-theoretical framework of sexuality. A comprehensive literature search, using the electronic databases EBSCOHost, Ovid, Clinical Key and PubMed, was conducted for articles concentrating on sexuality after gynaecological cancer treatment, published from 2007 to 2017 in English. Results: The results showed that the majority of the literature still approaches sexuality post treatment from a biomedical perspective with a focus on physical sexual functioning. However, there has been a slight shift towards understanding sexuality from a comprehensive standpoint, although there is a dearth of research relating to the psychological and relational aspects of sexuality. Conclusion: Comprehensive sexuality post treatment should be given further consideration in South Africa, and our unique socio-cultural context ought to be taken into consideration. Additionally, interventions at multiple levels should be explored, such as broadening sexual health training within the medical curriculum, considering the development of holistic cancer clinics and widening the scope of research relating to gynaecological cancer care.
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Gynae-oncology,Sexual functioning,Sexuality post treatment,SDG-03 Good health and well-being
Pitcher S, Adams T, van Wijk L, Fakie N, Saidu R, Denny L, Moodley J. Holistic sexuality post gynaecological cancer treatment: A review of recent literature. 2018. 2018;2. Epub 2018-01-22. doi: 10.4102/sajo.v2i0.40.
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