Exercise therapy for sexual dysfunction after prostate cancer

Document Type

Journal Article


Nature Publishing Group


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


ECU Health and Wellness Institute/ECU Health and Wellness Institute




This article was originally published as: Cormie, P. , Newton, R. , Taaffe, D. , Spry, N. A., & Galvao, D. A. (2013). Exercise therapy for sexual dysfunction after prostate cancer. Nature Reviews, Urology, 10(12), 731-736. Original article available here


Sexual dysfunction is one of the most common, distressing and persistent adverse effects of prostate cancer treatment, and has a profound effect on quality of life for the patient and his partner. Current health-care provisions are inadequate to address the demand for the management of sexual dysfunction, with approximately half of prostate cancer survivors reporting unmet sexual health-care needs. Management strategies predominately involve pharmacological interventions to address the direct physiological effects of prostate cancer treatment on erectile function. However, the aetiology of sexual dysfunction is multifaceted and considerable physiological and psychological adverse effects of prostate cancer treatments, which are not addressed by pharmacological intervention, contribute to sexual dysfunction. Exercise has established efficacy for improving many of these factors in men with prostate cancer, including changes in body composition (especially to counteract body feminization), fatigue, physical function, risk of comorbid conditions, depression, anxiety and quality of life. Emerging evidence indicates that exercise also has a positive effect on sexual desire and sexual activity in men with prostate cancer.