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Sexuality in Muslim Women With Gynecological Cancer

Serçekuş Ak, Pinar, PhD, RN; Partlak Günüşen, Neslihan, PhD, RN; Göral Türkcü, Sinem, MSc, RN; Özkan, Sevgi, PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000667
Article: PDF Only

Background Sexuality is a multidimensional subject that can be negatively affected after a diagnosis of gynecological cancer.

Objective The aim of this study was to reveal what sexuality difficulties Muslim women with gynecological cancers experience and how they overcome them.

Interventions/Methods A qualitative approach was used. Data were gathered through semistructured interviews and analyzed by using a content analysis method. Eighteen Muslim women with gynecological cancers participated in the study.

Results The study findings were grouped into 3 major categories: situations that make sexual life difficult, impact of cancer on sexual life, and coping.

Conclusions Women with gynecological cancers experience sexual reluctance, orgasmic incapacity, lack of enjoyment of sexual intercourse, and decreased frequency of sexual intercourse. In individuals with cancer, social support is important to facilitate coping; however, some women do not receive sufficient support. Women who consider sexuality to be a taboo topic and feel shame about asking sexuality-related questions are not likely to seek or receive relevant information from health professionals.

Implications for Practice Health professionals should provide information to women diagnosed with gynecological cancers about changes that they are likely to experience in their bodies and possible difficulties in sexuality. These women should be encouraged to talk about their sexual problems, and religious and cultural differences should be reflected in their cancer care.

Author Affiliations: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Nursing, Pamukkale University Faculty of Health Sciences, Denizli (Drs Serçekuş Ak and Özkan and Ms Türkcü); and Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Nursing, İzmir (Dr Partlak Günüşen), Turkey.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Pinar Serçekuş Ak, PhD, RN, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Nursing, Pamukkale University Faculty of Health Sciences, Campus Kinikli 20070, Denizli, Turkey (

Accepted for publication September 10, 2018.

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