Sexual Dysfunction is Common in Women with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Urinary Incontinence: Results of a Cross-Sectional Study

Andrea Salonia, Giuseppe Zanni, Rossella E. Nappi, Alberto Briganti, Federico Dehò, Fabio Fabbri, Renzo Colombo, Giorgio Guazzoni, Valerio Di Girolamo, Patrizio Rigatti, Francesco Montorsi

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Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions in women with urinary incontinence and/or lower urinary tract symptoms as compared to a general female population. Methods: We extensively evaluated 227 consecutive women (mean age 52; age range 19-66) complaining of urinary incontinence (UI) and/or lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) with a comprehensive history (including several validated questionnaires), a complete physical examination and a urodynamic multichannel evaluation. Two hundred and sixteen patients were eligible for sexual function investigation because 11 out of 227 (5%) were not interested in dealing with questions regarding their own sexuality and were thus excluded from the final evaluation results. A group of 102 age-matched women (mean age 54; age range 19-63) assessed for a yearly routine gynaecological evaluation and not complaining of urinary symptoms were enrolled as cross-sectional controls and investigated in accordance with the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Results: Sexual dysfunction was diagnosed in 99 out of 216 patients (46%). Of these, 34 (34%) reported hypoactive sexual desire, 23 (23%) reported sexual arousal disorder; 11 patients (11%) complained of orgasmic deficiency, and 44 (44%) suffered from sexual pain disorder (e.g., dyspareunia or non-coital genital pain). Women reporting low sexual desire commonly suffered from stress incontinence (47%). We found that 60% of the women with sexual arousal disorders and 61% of those with sexual pain disorders also complained of recurrent bacterial cystitis. Forty-six percent of those complaining of orgasmic phase difficulties also reported a troublesome urge incontinence. The FSFI values in both groups scored as follows (patients versus controls; median value; p value): desire: 2.0 vs. 3.2 (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-648
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2004



  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Voiding dysfunction
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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