Female Sexual Function Following Surgical Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The impact of surgery for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) on female sexual function has received attention in the medical literature, but not in a structured manner.

To assess the most recent evidence on the impact of surgical management for female SUI on female sexual function.

The review and meta-analysis of available articles published in Medline, Cochrane, LILACS, SCOPUS, Web of Science, CINHAL, and EMBASE included prospective randomized and non-randomized studies that assessed patients who underwent surgical treatment for UI through 2 validated questionnaires: the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire (PISQ-12) and the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).

The following terms were searched: (urinary incontinence OR female OR woman OR women) AND (suburethral slings OR transobturator tape* OR transobturator suburethral tape OR trans-obturator tape* OR urethral sling* OR midurethral sling* OR mid-urethral sling* OR "standard midurethral slings" OR tensionless vaginal tape* OR mini sling* OR Burch* OR "Burch colposuspension" OR "urologic surgical procedures" OR "tension-free vaginal tape" OR pubovaginal sling) AND (sexual behavior OR "Female Sexual Function Index" OR FSFI OR sexual function OR "Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire" OR PISQ-12).

1,043 articles were retrieved; 9 studies were included for qualitative analysis and 4 were included for meta-analysis. 25 articles were excluded because they used questionnaires other than the FSFI and PISQ-12. Meta-analysis of 2 studies composed of 411 women who underwent to retropubic and transobturator sling intervention and completed the PISQ-12 questionnaire showed an increase in sexual function of 2.40 points after transobturator compared with retropubic sling intervention (95% CI = -2.48 to -2.32; I2 = 35%, P < .00001). However, 2 other studies composed of 183 women comparing the same techniques, but using the FSFI, did not show a statistically significant difference (95% CI = -1.77 to 3.78; I2 = 0%, P = .48).

The impact of UI surgery on sexual function is uncertain because of the imprecision of the effect and inconsistency among studies. Only limited evidence on the impact of the transobturator vs the retropubic sling was found. Bicudo-Fürst MC, Borba Leite PH, Araújo Glina FP, et al. Female Sexual Function Following Surgical Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sex Med Rev 2017;X:XXX-XXX.

Sexual medicine reviews. 2017 Dec 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Maria Cláudia Bicudo-Fürst, Pedro Henrique Borba Leite, Felipe Placco Araújo Glina, Willy Baccaglini, Rafael Vilhena de Carvalho Fürst, Carlos Alberto Bezerra, Sidney Glina

ABC Medical School, Santo André, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: ., ABC Medical School, Santo André, SP, Brazil., Lusíada University Center, School of Medical Sciences of Santos, Santos, SP, Brazil.