Sexual Function Before and After Nonsurgical Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Journal of Pelvic Medicine and Surgery 01/2011; 17(1):30-35. DOI: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e318205e263
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVES: (1) to describe sexual function in women seeking treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI); (2) to compare the impact on sexual function of three SUI treatments; and (3) to investigate whether non-surgical treatment of SUI is associated with improved sexual function. METHODS: Women with SUI were randomized to continence pessary, behavioral therapy (pelvic floor muscle training and continence strategies), or combination therapy. Sexual function was assessed at baseline and 3-months using short forms of the Pelvic Organ Prolapse-Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire (PISQ-12) and the Personal Experiences Questionnaire (SPEQ). Successful treatment of SUI was assessed with a patient global impression of improvement. ANOVA was used to compare scores between groups. RESULTS: At baseline, sexual function was worse among women with mixed incontinence compared to those with pure SUI. After therapy, successful treatment of SUI was associated with greater improvement in PISQ-12 score (2.26 ± 3.24 versus 0.48 ± 3.76, p=0.0007), greater improvement in incontinence with sexual activity (0.45 ± 0.84 versus 0.01 ± 0.71, p=0.0002), and greater reduction in restriction in sexual activity related to fear of incontinence (0.32 ± 0.76 versus -0.06 ± 0.78, p=0.0008). Among those successfully treated for SUI, improvement in continence during sexual activity was greater in both the combined therapy group (p=0.019) and the behavioral group (p=0.02) compared to the pessary group. CONCLUSIONS: Successful non-surgical treatment of SUI is associated with improvements in incontinence-specific measures of sexual function. Behavioral therapy may be preferred to pessary for treatment of SUI among women whose incontinence interferes with sexual function.

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