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Long-term impact of surgical repair for stress urinary incontinence on female sexual functions, distress and behaviours


Corresponence: Agnieszka Drosdzol-Cop, Lecturer, Woman's Health Institute, the Medical University of Silesia, ul. Medyków 12; 40-752 Katowice, Poland. Telepone: +48322088629.



Aims and objectives

To evaluate sexual functions, distress and behaviours in women who underwent surgical repair of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in long-term follow-up.


Contemporary management of SUI includes conservative therapy and surgical repair – the choice of treatment modality depends on the severity of symptoms. If conservative treatment fails, surgical correction is necessary. The outcomes of the surgery for SUI and their influence on sexual functions are satisfactory in short-term follow-up.


A total of 50 women diagnosed with SUI according to International Continence Society standards were included in the study. The patients were qualified for surgical procedures such as: transobturator suburethral tape (TOT) (n = 35), Perigee (n = 6) or MiniArc (n = 9).


Sexual functions and behaviours were evaluated prior to the operation and 1–3 years postoperatively in all patient using Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and non-validated questions.


The mean time after the operation was 1·96 ± 0·83 years. Postoperatively, all women reported significant reduction of urinary incontinence symptoms. According to DSM-IV criteria, female sexual dysfunctions were diagnosed in 12% of females after the urogenital operation. However, sexual complaints (FSFI scores equal or <26·55 points) without distress were reported by 62% of the patients. The comparison of sexual complaints declared prior to and after the operation showed significant differences in the prevalence of decreased desire, decreased arousal and decreased orgasm frequency. In addition, we documented significant improvement of sexual attractiveness and sexual life evaluation after the SUI operation.


Surgical repair for SUI improves female sexual functions and reduces sexual distress, as observed in a long-term follow-up.

Relevance to clinical practice

Sexual functions, distress and behaviours in women who underwent surgical repair of SUI; the impact of SUI female quality of life as well as on sexual functions.