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Perspectives on Sexuality Among Patients with Hypopituitarism: Broadening the Medical Focus on Sexual Function to Include Sexual Wellbeing

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Liselott (Lisen) Dellenborg
J. T. Persson
Eva Jakobsson Ung
Gudmundur Johannsson
Ann-Charlotte Olofsson
Ida Björkman
Publicerad i Sexuality and Disability
ISSN 0146-1044
Publiceringsår 2020
Publicerad vid Centrum för personcentrerad vård vid Göteborgs universitet (GPCC)
Institutionen för vårdvetenskap och hälsa
Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för invärtesmedicin och klinisk nutrition
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11195-020-09625...
Ämnesord Altered sexuality, Sexual function, wellbeing, Hormone deficiency, Patients' experiences, Gender, Normativity, Healthcare encounters, androgen-deficient women, endocrine-society, testosterone, replacement, statement, therapy, cancer, adults, Rehabilitation
Ämneskategorier Invärtesmedicin


Hypopituitarism means a partial or complete inability to produce pituitary hormones, including those regulating gonadal function. The condition therefore leads to hormone deficiencies that may affect sexuality in various ways. This study aimed to explore patients' own experiences of hypopituitarism in relation to sexuality, and it is based on interviews with 19 men and women. A qualitative methodology inspired by Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics was used. Analysis revealed that current healthcare practices, which focus primarily on sexual functioning, fail to address patients' existential concerns about loneliness, loving relationships and selfhood. Another important finding was that women felt that their sexual functioning and wellbeing tended to go unnoticed, while men said that healthcare professionals focused mainly on erectile function rather than problems with sexual wellbeing. Cultural and gender norms were apparent in these healthcare interactions, and proactive efforts to improve awareness is required in order to improve the quality of care provided to these patients. Healthcare professionals need time, space and support for reflection so that they may enhance their knowledge about the complexity of sexuality and discuss the results of research into hormone replacement in men and women. They also need support to develop critical awareness of how gendered norms about sexuality may negatively affect the care provided to persons with hypopituitarism.

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