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Health Practitioners That Specialise in Sex After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Why seeking specialist help towards achieving successful sexual and psychological postoperative adjustment is critical.

In 2012, we published research investigating the experiences of men with regards to receiving help for sexual problems following surgical treatment for prostate cancer. Half of our research participants had been directed towards seeking specialist assistance towards addressing their erectile and sexual problems. The remaining participants reported depending solely upon their urologists or their general practitioners for erectile recovery and sexual adjustment advice.

Participants not in the receipt of specialist treatment frequently reported that the focal points of most physician consultations were primarily concerned with issues of healing following surgery and eliminating the cancer, the management of urinary incontinence, and to lesser a degree, penile rehabilitation.

It was generally reported that other than brief verbal inquiry, doctors asked few questions with regards to issues of sexual dysfunction. Some men reported that what discussion there was "felt almost like an afterthought". For the purpose of penile rehabilitation, each of the participants typically received minimal levels of instruction, some basic advice as to where to purchase a vacuum pump, and were prescribed low strength dosages of either Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. Stronger strength dosages were recommended to be used as and when needed for sexual intercourse. Many of the patients recalled being told they would eventually "regain almost complete function", however regeneration would take time and that patience was needed. After having trialed vacuum devices and PDE5s for more than 18 months, the majority of the participants continued to experience severe erectile problems and in many cases, their sex life was nonexistent.

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For some men, the experience of following PTED programs for several months without improvement in erectile functioning proved extremely discouraging. Many expressed resentment and frustration as erectile recovery timetables were revised and re-revised by their non-specialist physicians.

By comparison, those participants that received specialist treatment for sexual dysfunction reported that their physicians concentrated largely on issues relating to sexual dysfunction and erectile recovery.  Considerable time was spent discussing factors such as their history of sexual activity and in formally assessing degrees of postoperative erectile functioning.  These men reported receiving comprehensive instructions in treatment applications, and in cases where treatments had not been successful, alternate treatment options. Each of these men reported experiencing high levels of treatment satisfaction and where committed towards maintaining treatments for penile rehabilitation and erectile recovery.

What we found was consistent with similar research projects reported overseas.

 

But shouldn't my GP be advising me on this type of stuff?

Primary care doctors who see adult patients (either internal medicine or family practice specialists) are being squeezed by reduced reimbursements from insurance providers, greater patient load because fewer new doctors enter primary care, and patient populations who are becoming older and include more individuals with chronic illnesses that must be managed.

A study published in 2003 in The American Journal of Public Health estimated that a busy family practitioner would need to add four hours per day of direct patient care to provide all the necessary preventative medicine to his or her daily patient load.

Urgent matters take precedent over prevention and hand holding, the authors state. As a result, patients often feel rushed through. Nurses or medical assistants generally conduct the patient medical history interview, which includes a section about the patient's chief complaint. Then the doctor comes in to review the notes from the interview, conduct a physical examination if necessary, and discuss the complaint in detail. The doctor often spends less than ten minutes with a patient. Patients often gripe that the doctor comes to a conclusion before he or she has heard the patient's story.

Some research has suggested that a patient has about 27.5 seconds to explain his or her complaint, talk about symptoms, and express concerns before the doctor starts thinking about a diagnosis.

To make an appointment:

To make an appointment or to speak directly to one of The ManFocus Clinic sexual health professionals about sex after prostate cancer, treatments for erectile problems or any other sexual or relationship matter:

Telephone Sydney: (02) 9262 9992 Monday to Friday during office hours or
E-mail: reception@lifeafterprostatecancer.com.au

Please note that a doctor's referral is not necessary in order to make an appointment.

 

 

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