Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate sexual function in postmenopausal breast cancer patients treated with aromatase inhibitors.
Methods: A population-based, cross-sectional study was conducted among postmenopausal breast cancer patients on adjuvant endocrine treatment and age-matched controls with and without estrogen treatment. Sexual function was assessed with a standardized questionnaire.
Results: In all, 42.4% of aromatase inhibitor-treated breast cancer patients were dissatisfied with their sex life in general, and 50.0% reported low sexual interest; this was significantly more common than in tamoxifen-treated patients and controls (P < 0.05). Aromatase inhibitor-treated patients reported insufficient lubrication in 73.9% and dyspareunia in 56.5% of cases, which were significantly more common than in controls, irrespective of hormonal use (P < 0.05). Tamoxifen-treated patients reported significantly more dyspareunia (31.3%; P < 0.05) but resembled controls in all other concerns.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that sexual dysfunction in aromatase inhibitor-treated women is a greatly underestimated problem.