Eros Clitoral Therapy Device (Female Sexual Dysfunction)
An unfortunate sequelae of both radiation therapy and chemotherapy in female cancer patients is impaired sexual function. Women who undergo pelvic radiotherapy may complain of decreased vaginal lubrication, decreased sensation and less enjoyment during intercourse due to pain (dyspareunia). Sexual dysfunction may also occur in women receiving chemotherapy alone.
Until recently, no successful treatment was available for female cancer patients suffering from female sexual dysfunction. However, in February 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endorsed a novel, non-pharmacologic treatment known as the EROS Clitoral Therapy Device (CTD).
Manufactured by Nugen Corporation, EROS CTD is a hand-held, battery-operatied device which is designed to increase blood flow to the female genitalia. Increased blood flow results in improved lubrication, muscle relaxation and even healing of damaged tissues.
EROS CTD therapy was developed for the treatment of all types of female sexual dysfunction. In a preliminary study, EROS therapy was evaluated in a cohort of non-cancer patients suffering from symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Significant improvements were seen in all domains evaluated including genital sensation, vaginal lubrication, orgasmic ability and sexual satisfaction. Of note, significant improvements in all these areas were even seen in a cohort of 12 normal volunteers without sexual dysfunction.
In late 1999, Dr. Mundt attended a lecture by Dr. Maryann Schroder at the University of Chicago. After that lecture, Dr. Mundt approached Dr. Schroder and proposed a collaboration testing EROS therapy in irradiated cervical cancer patients with sexual dysfunction.
This study ultimately included 15 cervical cancer patients suffering from significant signs and symptoms of sexual dysfunction. All were without evidence of disease, with many having been treated 5 years or more prior to enrollment.
All patients were instructed to use the EROS device 4 times weekly for either 15-30 minutes (intermittent use) or up to 4.4 minutes (continuous use). Sexual functioning was evaluated prior to enrollment and at 3 months. Study instruments included the Female Sexual Function Index, the Derogatis Interview for Sexual Functioning, and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale.
At the 3 month point, all patients experienced significant improvements in Female Sexual functioning. Moreover, significant improvements were seen in terms of vaginal healing and decreased pain on pelvic examination.
The results of this important study were published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
Click here for a copy of this important clinical trial (EROS paper)
Ask your Doctor whether EROS would be helpful to you. EROS is currently availably by prescription only.
If you wish to learn more about EROS therapy?
Check out the NuGyn website http://www.eros-therapy.com/
Dr. Maryann Schroder was a visiting professor in the department in February 2007 (What’ New). Her lecture was entitled Clitoral Therapy Device for the Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction.