Introduction: Unambiguous data on sexual dysfunction after Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) treatment are scarce. Aims: To form a baseline in this area, we compared patient-reported sexual function in sexually active male HL survivors in complete remission with a sexually active, age-matched, male Dutch sample population. Furthermore, we explored whether sociodemographic and clinical factors were associated with sexual dysfunction in HL survivors and investigated whether reporting to perceive sexual problems was indicative for sexual dysfunction. Methods: This cross-sectional study included male patients with HL who were treated with chemotherapy and age-matched sexually active males. Main outcome measures: Outcome measures included the internationally validated International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and self-reported sexual problems by adding 3 items to the study-specific questionnaire. Results: Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurred in 23.3% of the HL survivors vs in 23.0% of controls: respectively 13.3% and 12.3% had moderate to severe ED. However, more HL survivors positively answered the question whether they did perceive sexual problems than controls (20.0% vs 7.0%; P ¼ .087). More patients treated with bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procabazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP) had sexual problems 33.3% vs 8.3% who were treated with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (P ¼ .057). Importantly, we found that the mean IIEF score for erectile function was 15.7 in HL survivors who reported to perceive sexual problems (moderate ED) vs 28.3 (normal) in those without perceiving sexual problems. Conclusion: In general, sexual function of male HL survivors is comparable to that of matched normal controls. Perceiving sexual problems was associated with lower sexual function measured by the IIEF. None of the HL survivors who were treated with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine perceived sexual problems. However, one-third of HL survivors who were treated with BEACOPP did, including ED in one-third of the cases. This is an important consideration for daily clinical practice as BEACOPP is increasingly used as standard therapy in advanced-stage HL.

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Sexual Medicine
Department of Radiation Oncology

Eeltink, CM, Lissenberg-Witte, B.I., Incrocci, L, Braamse, A.M., Visser, O, Zijlstra, J, … Zweegman, S. (2020). Self-Reported Sexual Function in Sexually Active Male Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors. Sexual Medicine, 8(3), 428–435. doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2020.04.005