Patient Perceptions Regarding Effect of Gynecological Surgery on Sexuality


Jonathan Schaffir, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2831 Cramblett Hall, 456 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Tel: +614-293-9899; Fax: +614-293-9684; E-mail:


Introduction.  Women undergoing surgery for benign gynecological conditions often voice concerns about how surgery will affect their sexuality. It is unclear what percentage of women shares these concerns, and how well they are addressed.

Aims.  To identify what concerns women have about sexuality when they have gynecological surgery, and what factors affect these concerns.

Methods.  Survey of women scheduled to undergo hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or any sterilization procedure at an academic medical center. Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used to analyze the data.

Main Outcome Measure.  A questionnaire was devised containing 10 statements regarding how surgery can affect sexuality and how concerns are addressed. Patients were asked to rate their agreement with each on a 5-point Likert scale.

Results.  Patients undergoing oophorectomies were significantly more likely to agree that they would have less sexual desire (P = 0.01) and that they would be less able to enjoy sex (P = 0.002) than women undergoing hysterectomy or sterilization alone. Patients with a private physician were more likely to agree that their physician counseled them about sexual effects than patients of the resident clinic (P = 0.004).

Conclusions.  Women undergoing oophorectomy are more likely to have concerns regarding sexuality that need to be addressed by gynecological surgeons. These concerns are less frequently addressed by resident physicians, who need to be instructed to counsel their patients about sexuality. Schaffir J, Fleming M, and Waddell V. Patient perceptions regarding effect of gynecological surgery on sexuality. J Sex Med 2010;7:826–831.