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The management of sexuality, intimacy, and menopause symptoms (SIMS) after prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: How to maintain sexual health in "previvors"

Mehida Alexandre, Jonathan Black, Margaret Whicker, Mary Jane Minkin, Elena Ratner
Maturitas 2017, 105: 46-51
28602465
"Previvors", or "pre-survivors", are individuals who do not have cancer but have a genetic predisposition to cancer. One such example is women with BRCA mutations. As a result of their predisposition to cancer, many will undergo a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy when they are premenopausal. For premenopausal women, the removal of ovaries results in the depletion of estrogen, immediate menopause, and, in many cases, resultant Sexuality, Intimacy, and Menopausal Symptoms (SIMS). Furthermore, they may undergo changes in body image. SIMS are underreported by patients and underdiagnosed by practitioners. At the time of diagnosis or at preoperative visits, women should be informed of the potential physiologic, hormonal, and psychosocial effects of their risk-reducing surgery. There are many modalities for management of these symptoms. Successful treatment requires the provider's awareness of the problem, ability to identify it, and willingness to treat it.

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