AUA 2019: Predictors of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome

Chicago, IL ( The MAPP Research Network conducted a study to assess female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in women with interstitial cystitis/ bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). FSD was defined as a disorder of sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and/or sexual pain. FSD prevalence was compared between three study groups: IC/BPS, positive controls who included participants with other chronic pain conditions, and age-matched healthy controls. Additional aims included evaluation of long-term changes in sexual dysfunction in IC/BPS participants and assessment of psychosocial and urologic symptoms in 3 study groups. 

MAPP research participants have been administered questionnaires regarding their FSD (Female Sexual Function Index) and psychosocial indicators such as perceived stress, self-esteem and relationship, depression and anxiety over the course of 12 months. Change in sexual function was classified as improved, stable or worsened from the baseline.

Study cohort included 233 participants with IC/BPS, 156 with chronic non-urologic pain, and 233 healthy controls. Data analysis showed a statistically significant difference in FSFI scores in the IC/BPS group compared to the positive control and asymptomatic groups (p=0.001). IC/BPS group also demonstrated higher proportion of FSD compared to 2 other groups.

Univariate analysis revealed an association between psychosocial factors and presence of FSD. Following characteristics were correlated with FSD: depression, anxiety, personality traits, stress, and overall pain and urinary severity (Table 1). These factors were strong predictors of FSD regardless of underlying conditions of IC/BPS, positive control diagnosis (irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.) or in healthy controls. This association was still present after adjusting for age, ethnicity, and employment status. 

Table 1

Data analysis demonstrated a statistically significant association between pain and urinary severity and FSD in women with IC/BPS (Table 2).

Table 2

Research demonstrated that female sexual dysfunction is strongly associated with urogenital pain and psychosocial factors. Longitudinal changes in IC/BPS were not dependent on changes in FSFI. Future therapeutic agents could target these issues to decrease a burden of FSD in women with IC/BPS.

Presented by: Larissa Rodriquez, MD; University of Southern California

Co-authors: Renee Rolston, Jamaica, NY, Alisa Stephens-Shields, Philadelphia, PA, J. Quentin Clemens, Ann Arbor, MI, John Krieger, Seattle , WA, Craig Newcomb, Philadelphia , PA, Jennifer Anger, Los Angeles, CA, Catherine Bradley, Bradley A. Erickson, Iowa City, IA, Henry Lai, St. Louis, MO

Written by: Hanna Stambakio, BS, Clinical Research Coordinator, Division of Urology, University of Pennsylvania @AStambakio at the American Urological Association's 2019 Annual Meeting (AUA 2019), May 3 – 6, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois
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