SEOUL, March 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Though it is safe for blood cancer patients to engage in sexual relations even after receiving transplants of hematopoietic stem cells, around half of couples abstain, according to recent research.
Medical staff from Samsung Medical Center interviewed 91 couples, each including one individual who had received a stem cell transplant, and found that only 52.8 percent continued to have conjugal relations.
This is despite the fact that hospitals are informing affected patients that hematopoietic stem cell transplants are not an impediment to a regular sex life.
The lack of bedroom intimacy in this case stems from differing opinions between partners, specifically on the importance of sex.
The average ratings given by patients and their spouses for the importance of sexual relations were 2.57 and 2.14, respectively, out of a maximum possible score of 4.
Measuring couples’ differences in opinion via Cohen’s kappa coefficient resulted in a stat of 0.17. The closer the calculated coefficient is to 1.0, the more the differences in opinion shrink.
These differences were more pronounced for male patient-female spouse couples. On average, men (2.81) rated sexual relations to be of greater importance than women did (2.07).
Partners refusing sexual advances also contributed to stress, as 15.4 percent of patients and 22 percent of spouses reported undergoing difficulties in their sex lives due to rejection.
Insufficient dialogue was identified by the interviewers as one of the main factors in exacerbating the disconnect between patient and spouse. When asked, 48.4 percent of patients and 23.1 percent of spouses responded that a conversation about sexual matters was had.
Finding that couples who mutually believed in the importance of sharing a sex life were much more likely to act on those beliefs, the Samsung Medical Center researchers concluded that it was crucial for communication regarding sex to take place between partners.
The research was carried out through three university hospitals located in Seoul and the Korean Society of Hematology. A report was listed in Bone Marrow Transplant, sister journal to the publication Nature.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)