PURPOSE: Studies of the effects of stress urinary incontinence on the sexual function of couples are scarce. We prospectively evaluated couple sexual function and the relationship between sexual function and quality of life. We also compared quality of life in females with vs without stress urinary incontinence.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sexually active females at least 21 years old with or without stress urinary incontinence and their partners were recruited for study. To assess sexual function the couples completed GRISS (Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction) and a 1-item question on overall sexual experience, "Over the past 4 weeks, how satisfied have you been with your overall sexual life?" Additionally, females completed ICIQ-LUTSqol (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life) to assess quality of life.
RESULTS: For sexual function assessment 66 of 134 couples with (49.3%) and 95 of 176 without (54.0%) stress urinary incontinence were recruited. Females with stress urinary incontinence had lower overall sexual function, lower frequency of sexual intercourse, less satisfaction (each p <0.001) and higher avoidance behavior (p = 0.026). Partners of females with stress urinary incontinence had more problems with erectile dysfunction (p = 0.027), less satisfaction (p = 0.006) and lower frequency of sexual intercourse (p = 0.001) but no difference in overall GRISS score (p = 0.093). Couples with stress urinary incontinence had poorer overall sexual experience (p <0.05). Females with stress urinary incontinence had poorer quality of life than those without stress urinary incontinence (120 of 134, response rate 89.6% vs 145 of 176, response rate 82.4%, p <0.001). Sexual function and quality of life did not significantly correlate (r = 0.001, p = 0.997).
CONCLUSIONS: Stress urinary incontinence in females is negatively associated not only with female quality of life and sexual function but also with partner sexual function.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.