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The Patty Brisben Foundation takes care to follow the progress of all ongoing research we’ve helped fund. For questions about our role in this study, or any other research, please contact us and we’ll do what we can to assist you.

Documenting and Understanding the Impact of Breast Cancer on Women’s Sexual Health and Function

We’ve collaborated with this center on a groundbreaking research study, the largest to date, that documents breast cancer survivors’ sexual difficulties and assesses survivors’ interest in sexual enhancement products as a means to improving their sexual function.

This study was accepted for publication in a top peer-reviewed scientific journal, Cancer Nursing, which is read by the women and men who most commonly interact with and support breast cancer patients. It was published in Fall 2008.

This study was important for several reasons:

  • It is one of the few papers to focus exclusively on women who received a breast cancer diagnosis prior to age 50, and who often have unique sexuality and fertility concerns, particularly if they are experiencing complications related to treatment such as premature or surgically induced menopause
  • These young survivors had significantly lower sexual functioning scores across most domains (e.g., sexual arousal, desire, satisfaction, orgasm)
  • More than 95% of the survivors studied indicated that cancer had adversely affected their sexuality
  • Those who were currently in active treatment were experiencing frequent problems related to pain
  • 61% of the women in treatment were experiencing vaginal dryness

The Impact of Women’s Sexual Desire on Sexual Satisfaction

Sexual desire is an area that has received very little attention in the medical field. In this study, published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy in 2012, The Center for Sexual Health Promotion examined 133 heterosexual couples to determine the importance of sexual desire for a woman’s partner in whether she achieves sexual satisfaction. This groundbreaking study emphasized the importance of a woman’s sexual desire in her overall satisfaction with her relationship.

Assessing the Impact of Hormonal Contraception on Sexual Function

This study sought to understand barriers to taking hormonal contraception and the effects contraception may have on sexual function. Using an online survey, more than 1,000 women reported on their use of contraception and their sexual experiences.  The findings were published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The women surveyed who used hormonal contraception sexual activity, arousal, pleasure, and orgasm and more difficulty with lubrication. This study expanded our knowledge on the potential negative side effects of hormonal contraception.

African-American Women’s Sexual Lives: Translating New Research Into Education

Prior to this study, most research on sexual function focused exclusively on the experiences of white women. Dr. Debby Herbenick and Dr. Ashley Townes sought to change that. This groundbreaking research took a sex positive lens to the sex lives of black women.

Read more about their study and outcomes here.