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Sexual function before and after non-surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence.

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1
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Abstract

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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