Psychological effects of androgen deprivation therapy on men with prostate cancer and their partners

4 min


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) reduces the levels of androgens — the hormones responsible for stimulating prostate cancer (PC) cell growth — extending the lives of men with PC.

However, ADT is associated with a range of significant side-effects such as increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hot flashes and sexual dysfunction. Many studies have considered these physical side-effects but few have been devoted to the psychological effects of ADT.


To present evidence of the psychological effects of ADT on men with PC and their partners, and to make recommendations for the management of these effects.


A literature review was conducted; no further details are provided.


Sexual Function and Relationship

Emotional Well-being and Depression



While ADT increases the lifespan of men with PC it reduces their quality of life during this time. The strongest evidence for the psychological effects of ADT are on men’s sexual function and the sexual relationship.

Clinicians have an ethical responsibility to alert men to the possible side effects of ADT when gaining their consent for treatment. Physical exercise appears to have the greatest potential to address the psychological effects of ADT on men with PC and possibly their partners.

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