• urinary incontinence;
  • surgical treatment;
  • outcome;
  • urinary symptoms;
  • climacteric symptoms;
  • social life;
  • sexual life;
  • nursing

Impact of urinary and climacteric symptoms on social and sexual life after surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women: a long-term outcome

Aim.  The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term results of surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) using both subjective and objective methods.

Background.  Few studies have focused on the influence of biological and social changes in a woman’s life on the long-term outcome of surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence.

Methods.  The study included 45 women with genuine SUI treated with either retropubic urethrocystopexy (n=30) or puboccocygeal repair (n=15). The assessment included interviews, questionnaires, urinary diary, pad test, continence test and urodynamic investigation.

Results.  The results were evaluated at intervals of 3 months, 1 year and 5–7 years after the treatment. One year after the surgical treatment 71% of the women in the urethrocystopexy group and 80% in the pubococcygeal repair group were subjectively cured, while 5–7 years after surgery the corresponding values were 43% vs. 60%. However, according to pad test a 67% of the women in the urethrocystopexy group and 47% in the pubococcygeal repair group had ceased to leak urine 1 year after the operation whereas at the long-term follow-up the corresponding values were 64% vs. 71%. According to the questionnaire at the long-term follow-up only 35% of the women in the whole group had genuine SUI whereas 21% had urge-incontinence. Moreover, 37% experienced sweating, 23% flushing and 44% vaginal dryness. The number of women with adiposity had increased significantly (P < 0·001) at the long-term follow-up. Twenty-eight per cent of the women decreased their activities whereas the majority experienced no impediment. Seventy-nine per cent reported that they were sexually active and the majority reported satisfaction with their sexual lives.

Conclusions.  Accurate assessment of postoperative results of SUI demands rigorous recording of subjective and objective data taking into consideration psychological and social factors, otherwise there is a high risk of bias in the interpretation of the results of the treatment for SUI. This study indicates that, in order to give women with SUI adequate treatment the nursing care should comprehend the women’s divergent experiences of urinary incontinence and its impact on social and sexual life.