The Impact of Mid-Urethral Slings for the Treatment of Urodynamic Stress Incontinence on Female Sexual Function: A Multicenter Prospective Study


Maurizio Serati, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Insubria, Del Ponte Hospital, p.zza Biroldi 1, Varese 21100, Italy. Tel: 393389098353; Fax: 39332299307; E-mail:


Introduction.  Urinary incontinence is a common condition that negatively impacts on female sexuality (FS).

Aim.  To evaluate FS before and after a mid-urethral sling (MUS) procedure using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). We included women that were both sexually and nonsexually active at baseline.

Methods.  One hundred fifty-seven women complaining of urodynamic stress incontinence underwent a MUS procedure and were enrolled in the study. All patients answered the Italian translation of FSFI, before and 12 months after surgery. To understand the real impact of the MUS on female sexual function, for the first time in the literature, we also monitored and included in the final analysis all the women who are nonsexually active at baseline. We evaluated the prevalence of female sexual dysfunction according to the FSFI cutoff point (26.55).

Main Outcome Measures.  FSFI total score, pads use, and stress test presurgery and postsurgery.

Results.  One hundred thirty-three patients completed the study protocol: 105 out of 133 underwent to a trans-obturator procedure, while 28 out of 133 had a retropubic procedure. After the 12-month follow up, 115 out of 133 patients (86%) were dry, 10 improved their symptoms, and the remaining 8 were unchanged. Seventy-nine out of 133 (59%) patients reported an active sexual life before surgery. Fifty-four (41%) reported they were not sexually active before surgery. Twelve months after surgery, 22 out of 54 nonsexually active women (40%) reestablished sexual activity, whereas only 6 out of 79 (7.5%) patients, sexually active at baseline, were not sexually active 1 year after surgery (P < 0.05). After adjusting for multiple testing, only age, menopause, and storage symptoms remained significantly correlated with the FSFI total score postsurgery as independent variables.

Conclusions.  Our data showed that after a MUS procedure, female sexual function improves. We also found that a very relevant percentage of nonsexually active women reported renewed sexual activity after MUS. Filocamo MT, Serati M, Frumenzio E, Li Marzi V, Cattoni E, Champagne A, Salvatore S, Nicita G, and Costantini E. The impact of mid-urethral slings for the treatment of urodynamic stress incontinence on female sexual function: A multicenter prospective study. J Sex Med 2011;8:2002–2008.