ObjectiveTo describe sexual activity and risks for dyspareunia after pelvic organ prolapse surgery.
MethodsThis 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.
ResultsOf 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.
ConclusionDyspareunia 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 registrationClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00065845, NCT00460434, NCT00597935, and NCT01802281.