Sexual activity and function in women with and without pelvic floor disorders

Int Urogynecol J. 2013 Jan;24(1):91-7. doi: 10.1007/s00192-012-1848-2. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


Introduction and hypothesis: We describe differences in sexual activity and function in women with and without pelvic floor disorders (PFDs).

Methods: Heterosexual women ≥40 years of age who presented to either urogynecology or general gynecology clinics at 11 clinical sites were recruited. Women were asked if they were sexually active with a male partner. Validated questionnaires and Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) examinations assessed urinary incontinence (UI), fecal incontinence (FI), and/or pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Sexual activity and function was measured by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Student's t test was used to assess continuous variables; categorical variables were assessed with Fisher's exact test and logistic regression. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the impact of pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) on FSFI total and domain scores.

Results: Five hundred and five women met eligibility requirements and gave consent for participation. Women with and without PFDs did not differ in race, body mass index (BMI), comorbid medical conditions, or hormone use. Women with PFDs were slightly older than women without PFDs (55.6 + 10.8 vs. 51.6 + 8.3 years, P <0.001); all analyses were controlled for age. Women with PFDs were as likely to be sexually active as women without PFDs (61.6 vs. 75.5 %, P = 0.09). There was no difference in total FSFI scores between cohorts (23.2 + 8.5 vs. 24.4 + 9.2, P = 0.23) or FSFI domain scores (all P = NS).

Conclusion: Rates of sexual activity and function are not different between women with and without PFDs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Heterosexuality
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States