For men and women, sexual dysfunction after cancer is common. The Smilow Cancer Hospital Sexuality and Intimacy Program, the only clinic of its kind in the country, is designed to help them.
Dr. Elena Ratner, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Co-Chief for the Section of Gynecologic Oncology, and Dr. Stanton Honig, Urologist and Director of the Yale Men’s Health Program, collaborate in order to provide comprehensive care to couples as well as individuals. Sex and intimacy after cancer is largely unstudied. Dr. Ratner is in the midst of a research project to learn how treatment for sexual function affects quality of life for patients and their partners and to explore whether it improves survival. In men, prostate and bladder cancer treatment are most likely to affect sexuality. Dr. Honig works with patients and their physician to help minimize these effects and reclaim their sex lives after cancer.
It is an interdisciplinary program and deals with fertility issues as well as provides counseling. Psychologist Dwain Fehon is a key team member of the Sexuality and Intimacy Program. Also part of the team is Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a gynecologist who specializes in menopause.