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Painful Love—“Hispareunia” after Sling Erosion of the Female Partner


Annette Kuhn, MD, University Hospital of Bern and University of Bern—Department of Urogynaecology, Gynaecology, Frauenklinik, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland. Tel: +41 31 6321515; Fax: +41 31 6321515; E-mail:


Introduction.  Sling erosion/extrusion is a complication after suburethral sling insertion for female stress urinary incontinence that occurs in approximately 6% of patients. Symptoms may include vaginal discharge, infections, postcoital bleeding, and alterations of the sexual function. Little is known about the effect of sling erosion on the sexual function of the male partner.

Aim.  The aim of this study was to determine male sexual function in partners of women who had undergone sling insertion for stress urinary incontinence and who developed sling erosion postoperatively.

Main Outcome Measures.  Main outcome measures were the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory (BMSFI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores.

Methods.  Male partners of patients who presented with sling erosion for various reasons were addressed and asked to fill in the BMSFI and assess sexual pain using the VAS before and 6 months after the sling erosion of their female partners was treated. Participants gave informed consent and those who had undergone prostate surgery during the past 12 months were excluded. For statistical analyses, SPSS version 10.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used.

Results.  Thirty-two males were included in the study and produced a full set of data. VAS scores as a measurement for “hispareunia” improved from a median score of 8 before to a median score of 1 after intervention. Some domains of male sexual function (sexual interest, sexual drive, ejaculation, and erection) were significantly improved whereas the strength of erection, problems with ejaculation, and problems with lack of interest were not statistically significantly changed.

Conclusions.  Changes of male sexual function and particularly pain after sling insertion in their female partners may be due to sling exposure. Sexual interest and drive may be negatively influenced. Male dyspareunia is a complaint that can be treated effectively by correcting the sling exposure. Mohr S, Kuhn P, Mueller MD, and Kuhn A. Painful Love—“Hispareunia” after sling erosion of the female partner. J Sex Med 2011;8:1740–1746.