Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 540–548 | Cite as

Marital and sexual satisfaction in testicular cancer survivors and their spouses

  • Marrit A. Tuinman
  • Joke Fleer
  • Dirk Th. Sleijfer
  • Harald J. Hoekstra
  • Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers
Original Article



To compare marital and sexual satisfaction of men who survived testicular cancer (TC) and their spouses to a reference group, and to compare marital and sexual satisfaction of couples who had a relationship at time of diagnosis (couples during TC) to couples who developed a relationship after completion of treatment (couples after TC).

Patients and methods

Two hundred and nineteen couples during TC and 40 couples after TC completed the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire, a validated instrument to measure marital and sexual satisfaction.


Survivors and spouses of both couple groups reported similar marital satisfaction as men and women of the reference group. Survivors (t=2.9, p<0.01) and spouses (t=2.9, p<0.01) of couples during TC and survivors of couples after TC (t=1.9, p=0.05) reported less sexual satisfaction than the reference groups. Survivors of couples after TC reported less sexual satisfaction than survivors of couples during TC (F=4.0, p<0.05). Correlations between sexual satisfaction of survivors and spouses in couples during TC (r=0.76, p<0.001) and couples after TC (r=0.77, p<0.001) were high.


Testicular cancer did not appear to have a negative effect on marital satisfaction in couples during TC, although TC survivors and their spouses reported less sexual satisfaction than men and women of the reference group. Survivors who developed a relationship after completion of treatment seemed to form a vulnerable group: their sexual satisfaction was lower than that of men in the reference group and of TC survivors with a longer relationship. Besides that, they more often reported marital problems than their spouses did.


Cancer Testicular cancer Spouse Marital satisfaction Sexual satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marrit A. Tuinman
    • 1
  • Joke Fleer
    • 1
  • Dirk Th. Sleijfer
    • 2
  • Harald J. Hoekstra
    • 1
  • Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyUniversity Medical Centre GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity Medical Centre GroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Health PsychologyUniversity Medical Centre GroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Comprehensive Cancer Centre Northern NetherlandsGroningenThe Netherlands

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