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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2012 Jun;91(6):704-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0412.2012.01396.x. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Pelvic organ prolapse contributes to sexual dysfunction: a cross-sectional study.

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Urogynecology Unit, First Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Alexandra Hospital, 80 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, Greece.



To evaluate the effect of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) on female sexual dysfunction.


Cross-sectional, observational study.


Gynecological outpatient and urogynecological university clinics in Greece.


One hundred and one women with POP seen in the urogynecology clinic (study group) and 70 women without POP seen in the gynecology outpatient department (control group).


Women with and without POP completed a condition-specific sexual dysfunction questionnaire (DYSQ) comprising four domains: sexual behavior; physical problems other than urinary incontinence; urinary incontinence problems; and satisfaction. Pelvic organ prolapse was assessed by the International Continence Society Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System grading system. The primary outcome of the study was the assessment of sexual function by DYSQ in women with and without POP.


We compared sexual function in women with and without POP and evaluated the extent of the effect of various grades of POP on sexual function.


One hundred and seventy-one women were recruited, 101 in the POP group and 70 in the control group. The total and factor-specific DYSQ scores in the POP group were worse than those in the control group (p < 0.001) but did not seem to worsen with an increasing grade of prolapse. Linear regression showed that the best model to describe the DYSQ score includes the presence of POP and years of menopause. These variables explain 15.6% of the total variability in DYSQ scores.


The presence of prolapse only partly explains impaired sexual functioning in women with POP. Sexual dysfunction is related to the presence of POP and not the grade of POP.

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