Sexual function before and after mesh repair of inguinal hernia

Int J Urol. 2005 Jan;12(1):35-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2042.2004.00983.x.


Aim: Several factors having an influence on the quality of life after an inguinal hernia repair have been studied, yet little has been reported on sexual function before and after this operation.

Methods: In a prospective follow-up study from January 1999 to July 2002, 210 men and 14 women were asked to answer an anonymous questionnaire of 40 questions before elective inguinal hernia repair to assess pre- and postoperative sexual function (preoperatively, 3 months postoperatively and every 6 months afterwards). Inguinal hernia repair was performed using a standardized Plug and Patch mesh technique.

Results: Fifty-two (23.2%) patients mentioned preoperative sexual dysfunction related to the groin hernia. Postoperatively, the surgical repair had a positive influence on the sexual function in these patients. Thirty-six (16%) patients complained of postoperative sexual dysfunctions, which improved or disappeared over the next few months. All patients suffered surgical complications, which were surgically treated in six cases. Symptoms specifically associated with inguinal hernias can cause certain limitations in the sexual life.

Conclusions: In most cases, and in the absence of postoperative complications, the operative repair can lead to a recovery of the sexual life in patients with preoperative sexual dysfunction, while, in most cases, it does not affect patients with a preoperative normal sexual life.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Inguinal / complications*
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / surgery*
  • Surgical Mesh*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires