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J Sex Med. 2014 Sep;11(9):2256-63. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12507. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Changes in sexual function of women with refractory interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome after intravesical therapy with a hyaluronic acid solution.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chung Shan Medical University School of Medicine, Taichung, Taiwan.



Intravesical instillation with a hyaluronic acid (HA) solution is an effective treatment for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), but its impact on sexual functioning of patients is not known.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in sexual function of women with refractory IC/BPS who underwent a second-line intravesical HA therapy.


A total of 103 women diagnosed with refractory IC/BPS were enrolled in this prospective, multicenter study. Sexual function was evaluated using the short form of the Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire (PISQ-9). Bladder-related symptoms and bother were assessed by the Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index (ICSI) and Interstitial Cystitis Problem Index (ICPI), and a pain visual analog scale (VAS), respectively. Data were analyzed with univariate methods or multivariate logistic regression analysis accordingly.


Changes in PISQ-9, ICSI, ICPI, and pain VAS scores after treatment were assessed.


Mean age and duration of symptoms was 43.6 ± 11.8 and 5.1 ± 5.0 years, respectively. ICSI, ICPI, and pain VAS scores were significantly (P < 0.001) improved after 1 month and 6 months of treatment. Of the 87 (84.5%) sexually active women evaluated, PISQ-9 total scores improved significantly (P < 0.001) from the baseline (mean 18.9 ± 6.4), after 1 month (20.4 ± 5.8), and 6-months (21.5 ± 5.6) of treatment. Significantly improved PISQ-9 items included "dyspareunia" (P < 0.001) and "negative reactions" (P = 0.015) during sexual intercourse, and "intensity" (P < 0.001) of sexual orgasms. After a logistic regression analysis, we found that a baseline PISQ-9 score was negatively correlated with the duration of IC/BPS symptoms (P = 0.022). Meanwhile, the changes in PISQ-9 scores were positively correlated with the reduction in ICSI scores after treatment (P = 0.045).


Intravesical HA is an effective treatment for refractory IC/BPS. A longer duration of IC/BPS symptoms may be a predictor of poor sexual function. However, intravesical HA may improve sexual function along with the reduction of IC/BPS symptoms.


Bladder Pain Syndrome; Dyspareunia; Hyaluronic Acid; Interstitial Cystitis; Intravesical Therapy; Sexual Dysfunction

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