Quality of life, reproduction and sexuality after stem cell transplantation with partially T-cell-depleted grafts and after conditioning with a regimen including total body irradiation

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Abstract

Thirty-four men and 36 women (median age 43 and 45 years, respectively) underwent stem cell transplantation (SCT) for acute leukaemia in first complete remission or chronic myelogenous leukaemia in first chronic phase between 1981 and 2001 from HLA-identical siblings. The conditioning regimen included TBI and all grafts were partially depleted of T cells. Changes in quality of life (QOL), reproduction and sexuality were studied using a questionnaire, and the previously given information related to these problems was assessed. In addition, endocrine status was assessed and semen analysis was performed. After SCT, patients reported less energy (n = 50) and a deterioration in the job situation (n = 31). Patients experienced a negative change in sexual relations (n = 41). Important problems of sexual dysfunction were vaginal dryness in women (n = 19) and erectile dysfunction in men (n = 16). None of the patients was fertile based on their gonadotrophin levels, sperm concentrations and reproductive outcomes. Women experienced climacteric symptoms (n = 24). Quality of life was negatively influenced by these changes. One-fifth of the patients were not satisfied with the information given with regard to reproduction, premature menopause and sexual problems.

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