Sexuality and exercise in men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer

Document Type

Journal Article


Springer Verlag


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


ECU Health and Wellness Institute




Hamilton K., Chambers S.K., Legg M., Oliffe J.L., Cormie P. (2015). Sexuality and exercise in men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(1), 133-142. Available here


Objective: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for the management of prostate cancer results in a range of side effects including sexual dysfunction. Exercise is proposed as a potentially effective therapy to counteract changes in sexual function. The current study explored the impact of ADT on men’s sexuality and the effect of exercise on this experience.Methods: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 men (age = 63.1 ± 3.8) who were on ADT for prostate cancer for ≤12 months and who were part of a pre-existing exercise intervention trial.Results: Sexual concerns for men included changes in body image, partner relationships, sex drive, sexual performance and masculinity. In coping with these concerns, men described a sense of personal acceptance of sexual changes through a shift in priorities and values away from penetrative sexual intercourse, knowledge and understanding about ADT, and partner support. Exercise in a group-based setting contributed to the acceptance of sexual changes through affirming strength-based aspects of masculinity and peer support.Conclusion: Exercise appears to have utility as a strategy to assist men to manage the negative impact of ADT on sexuality and masculinity more broadly.



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