Sexual Quality of Life in Women Partnered with Men Using Intracavernous Alprostadil Injections after Radical Prostatectomy


  • Financial support: None.

Corresponding Author: René Yiou, MD, PhD, PU-PH, Service d'Urologie, CHU Henri Mondor, 51 av du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny, 94010 Créteil, France. Tel: +33-149-812-553; Fax: +33-149-812-552; E-mail:



The effects of intracavernous alprostadil injection (IAI), a primary treatment for post-radical prostatectomy (RP) erectile dysfunction (ED) (pRPED), on the sex life of women partnered with men who have undergone RP have received little attention.


The aim of this study is to investigate the sexual quality of life in female partners of men receiving IAIs for pRPED.


We retrospectively studied the sex lives of 152 women partnered with men who were being treated for pRPED with IAI and previously had normal erectile function. Women completed the Index of Sexual Life (ISL) questionnaire 1 year after their partner's RP. Male patients completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15), the Erection Hardness Score (EHS) questionnaire, the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire (ICIQ), and the UCLA Prostate Cancer Index (UCLA-PCI) urinary function questionnaire. Penile pain was assessed using the visual analog scale (VAS). Statistical analysis was performed using t-tests, Spearman correlation, and multiple linear regression.

Main Outcome Measures

Female sexual life satisfaction (SLS), sexual drive (SD), and general life satisfaction (GLS) were assessed using the ISL questionnaire.


Mean ages for the 104 couples included were 62.3 and 59.8 years for the men and women, respectively. Mean ISL, SD, SLS, and GLS scores at 12 months were 25.4, 3.8, 14.1, and 7.5, respectively. ISL scores were strongly correlated with IIEF-15 domains, mainly erectile function (r > 0.41, P < 0.00002) and intercourse satisfaction (r > 0.27, P < 0.005). Age and VAS, ICIQ, and UCLA-PCI scores were negatively correlated with some ISL domains. IIEF-15 erectile function and intercourse satisfaction were the most significant domains predicting female SLS. An IIEF-15 erectile function of 25 corresponded to a 75% chance of an SLS score ≥18.


Indexes of female sexual quality of life were low overall but were highly correlated with the partner's response level to IAI treatment. IAI-related pain, increased age, and poor urinary function of the male partner appear to negatively impact female sex life.