Association of urinary incontinence and sexual function in women

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Objectives:To investigate the association between urinary incontinence and female sexual function in a non-clinical population.Methods:A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 2159 female employees of two hospitals.Results:Of the 883 sexually active participants, pure stress urinary incontinence was reported in 18.3%, pure urge urinary incontinence in 6.8%, mixed urinary incontinence in 15.1% and no urinary incontinence in 59.8%. The prevalence of female sexual difficulty, defined by the Female Sexual Function Index total score ≤26.55, was 52.0%, 56.1%, 54.3% and 42.2%, respectively (P < 0.05). After adjustment of age, menstrual status, length of marriage, having children and relationship with the partner, all types of urinary incontinence showed a significant association with female sexual difficulty with an odds ratio of 1.6–1.8. Taking into consideration the individual domains, pure urge urinary incontinence was a risk factor for decreased sexual lubrication and more sexual pain, and mixed urinary incontinence was a risk factor for less sexual satisfaction, whereas pure stress urinary incontinence was not related to a difficulty in individual domains.Conclusions:Stress urinary incontinence and urge urinary incontinence are associated with general impairment of female sexual function to a mild degree. Only urge urinary incontinence is related to sexual difficulty in specific domains including sexual lubrication and sexual pain.

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