A comparison of anticipated pain before and pain rating after the procedure in patients who undergo cystourethroscopy

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Jul;189(1):66-9. doi: 10.1067/mob.2003.377.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare anticipated pain before the procedure and actual pain rating after the procedure in female patients who undergo cystourethroscopy.

Study design: Eighty-seven consecutive female patients completed a 10-cm visual analog pain scale before and after cystourethroscopy. A 24F urethroscope was used initially to inspect the urethra and was followed by a systematic survey of the bladder with a 17F cystoscope that was lubricated with 2% lidocaine gel. The visual analog pain scale scores were evaluated for significance with the use of the Student t test and the Pearson correlation coefficient.

Results: Visual analog pain scale analysis demonstrated a mean anticipated pain score of 3.75 cm before the procedure versus a mean pain rating score of 2.83 cm after the procedure (P <.05). Neither a history of previous cystoscopy (visual analog pain scale score, 3.03 vs 2.30 cm; P =.18) nor talking with someone about the procedure beforehand (visual analog pain scale score, 2.74 vs 2.89 cm; P =.76) influenced the lower pain rating after the procedure. There was no significant correlation between age, parity, body mass index, or presence of pelvic organ prolapse and anticipated or realized pain perception.

Conclusion: Patients who undergo cystourethroscopy consistently anticipate higher degrees of discomfort than they actually perceive during the procedure.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Anxiety*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cystoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Perception
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urethra* / physiopathology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / physiopathology


  • Analgesics