The Impact of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Urinary Incontinence on Female Sexual Dysfunction Using a Validated Instrument

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) is a common problem in women and frequently coexists with female sexual dysfunction (FSD). However, the relationship of LUTS and FSD is poorly characterized.


To evaluate the relationship of LUTS and urinary incontinence (UI) to FSD using a validated instrument, the female sexual function index (FSFI).


We performed an institutional review board-approved retrospective evaluation of 236 female patients over a 3-year time-period who completed an FSFI-validated questionnaire and underwent urodynamics (UDS) evaluation for LUTS or UI. Patients were categorized based upon history and physical exam into different LUTS groups. Additionally, the presence or absence of UI, detrusor overactivity (DO), stress urinary incontinence, and maximal cystometric capacity (MCC) > or <200 mL on UDS were used to further evaluate these patients. FSFI domain and total scores were compared between the different LUTS groups.

Main Outcome Measure

FSFI scores were evaluated for women with similar clinical LUTS diagnosis and UDS findings. The Kruskal–Wallis nonparametric test and the Dwass–Steel test determined statistical significance and performed multiple pairwise comparisons between the different voiding dysfunction groups and those with normal UDS (Leak-/DO-/urodynamic stress incontinence-).


The mean age of the cohort was 49.5 (range 18–69), and there was no statistically significant difference in mean age within each LUTS subgroup. MCC < 200 mL did not significantly impair female sexual function. Patients with clinical diagnosis of overactive bladder (OAB)-Dry had the highest sexual function while those with mixed urinary incontinence had the worst. Additionally, women with UI and DO had the greatest degree of FSD, which was significantly worse than those with normal UDS. Additionally, for women with or without UI, the presence of DO on UDS resulted in a trend toward worse sexual function.


The sexual function of women is negatively impacted by the presence of LUTS, with UI and DO causing the greatest degree of FSD. The sexual domains most affected are desire, lubrication, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction. Cohen BL, Barboglio P, and Gousse A. The impact of lower urinary tract symptoms and urinary incontinence on female sexual dysfunction using a validated instrument. J Sex Med 2008;5:1418–1423.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles