Chronic pain has a negative impact on sexuality in testis cancer survivors

J Androl. Sep-Oct 2012;33(5):886-93. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.110.012500. Epub 2011 Apr 7.


Testis cancer is a disease that directly affects a man's sense of masculinity and involves treatments compromising sexual function. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and the influence of chronic pain on sexuality in long-term testis cancer survivors. Thus, we examined 539 patients after they had one testis removed because of a testicular germ cell tumor. Having completed oncologic therapy, all patients received a detailed questionnaire asking about the occurrence and clinical presentation of testis pain before and after orchiectomy. In addition, items from the abridged International Index of Erectile Function and Brief Sexual Function Inventory were used to gain precise information on individual sexual function. Overall, 34.5% of our testicular cancer survivors complained of reduced sexual desire, and sexual activity was reduced in 41.6%. Erectile dysfunction was present in up to 31.5% of patients. In 24.4%, the ability to maintain an erection during intercourse was impaired. Ejaculatory disorders (premature, delayed, retrograde, or anejaculation) occurred in 84.9% of our testis cancer survivors. A total of 32.4% of our participants experienced a reduced intensity of orgasm, and 95.4% experienced reduced overall sexual satisfaction. There was a significant correlation between the occurrence of chronic pain symptoms and the relative frequency and intensity of erectile dysfunction, inability to maintain an erection, ejaculation disorders, and reduced intensity of orgasm. In conclusion, chronic pain has a negative impact on sexuality in testis cancer survivors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Ejaculation
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / surgery*
  • Orchiectomy / adverse effects*
  • Orgasm
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology*
  • Pain, Postoperative / psychology
  • Penile Erection
  • Premature Ejaculation / epidemiology
  • Premature Ejaculation / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology
  • Sexuality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors* / psychology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult