Sexual Activity and Dyspareunia 1 Year After Surgical Repair of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Pelvic Floor Disorders Network (PFDN)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe sexual activity and risks for dyspareunia after pelvic organ prolapse surgery. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of data from four randomized trials conducted between 2002 and 2018. Standard assessments and validated measures of sexual function were assessed at baseline and at 12 months postoperatively. Anterior apical surgeries were grouped by approach: transvaginal native tissue repairs, transvaginal mesh or graft-augmented repairs, and abdominal sacrocolpopexy. Additional surgeries, which included posterior repair, hysterectomy, and slings, were analyzed. Bivariate analyses and logistic regression models identified risk factors for postoperative dyspareunia. RESULTS: Of the 1,337 women enrolled in the trials, 932 had sufficient outcome data to determine dyspareunia status. Of these before surgery, 445 (47.8%) were sexually active without dyspareunia, 89 (9.6%) were sexually active with dyspareunia, 93 (10.0%) were not sexually active owing to fear of dyspareunia, and 305 (32.7%) were not sexually active for other reasons. At 12 months, dyspareunia or fear of dyspareunia was present in 63 of 627 (10.0%); occurred de novo in 17 of 445 (3.8%) and resolved in 136 of 182 (74.7%). Multivariable regression demonstrated baseline dyspareunia as the only factor associated with postoperative dyspareunia (adjusted odds ratio 7.8, 95% CI 4.2-14.4). No other factors, including surgical approach, were significantly associated with postoperative dyspareunia. Too few had de novo dyspareunia to perform modeling. CONCLUSION: Dyspareunia is common in one in five women before undergoing prolapse surgery. Surgical repair resolves dyspareunia in three out of four women with low rates of de novo dyspareunia at less than 4%. Preoperative dyspareunia appears to be the only predictor of postoperative dyspareunia. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:, NCT00065845, NCT00460434, NCT00597935, and NCT01802281.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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