Sexual Function After Colorectal Surgery in Women

Deborah S. Keller, Jenny Alex Ky-Miyasaka

Key Concepts

  • When considering pelvic cancer in women, the focus has traditionally been on curing the cancer. As therapy has improved and there are more long-term survivors, sexual function and its impact on quality of life has become a key concern of these women.
  • Pelvic surgical dissection in women for benign conditions like inflammatory bowel disease can also severely affect postoperative sexual function and affect quality of life.
  • Measuring female sexual function can be challenging. The Pelvic Floor Disorders Consortium (PFDC) Working Group (which includes many members from the American Society of Colorectal Surgeons) is a cross-disciplinary collaboration that has evaluated these questionnaires and published recommendations on their use.
  • Depending on individual patient’s needs, a multidisciplinary approach to improving quality of life for this group of patients is recommended. The team may include the colorectal surgeon; psychologist, psychiatrist, or appropriate counselor; sex therapist; pelvic floor physical therapist; oncologist; radiation oncologist; geriatrician; nutritionist; and exercise physiotherapist.

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Last updated: January 26, 2022