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Impact of female urinary incontinence and urgency on women's and their partners' sexual life
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
2011 (English)In: Neurourology and Urodynamics, ISSN 0733-2467, E-ISSN 1520-6777, Vol. 30, no 7, 1276-1280 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To assess the impact of female urinary incontinence (UI) and urgency on women's and their partners' sexual life in sexually active couples and to elucidate the concordance of answers within couples.

Methods: Women aged 18-74 years with UI and/or urgency (n = 206) were consecutively recruited from four outpatient clinics. Those with a partner (n = 170) completed a questionnaire regarding relationship and sexual life and gave a similar questionnaire to him. The present paper focuses on 99 couples with an active sexual life.

Results: Twenty-two percent of the men and 43% of the women stated that the female urinary symptoms impaired their sexual life. Forty-nine percent of the women expressed worries about having urinary leakage during sexual activity, but most of their men, 94%, did not. Twenty-three percent of the men and 39% of the women responded that the woman leaked urine during sexual activity. The majority, 84%, of women considered this a problem, but 65% of their partners did not. Except for this disparity, the rest of the answers were significant concordant within the couples.

Conclusions: Female UI and urgency negatively affected sexual life in almost half of the women and in every fifth partner. A need for information and advice concerning sexual issues due to the woman's urinary disorder was found in one fifth of the couples. The majority of women with urinary leakage during sexual activities considered this as a problem, but most of their partners did not. Overall, the concordance of the answers within the couples was high.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley , 2011. Vol. 30, no 7, 1276-1280 p.
Keyword [en]
female, male partner, sexual life, urgency, urinary incontinence
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42136DOI: 10.1002/nau.21039PubMedID: 21351129OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-42136DiVA: diva2:408718
Note
Article first published online: 23 FEB 2011Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Female urinary incontinence: impact on sexual life and psychosocial wellbeing in patients and partners, and patient-reported outcome after surgery
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Female urinary incontinence: impact on sexual life and psychosocial wellbeing in patients and partners, and patient-reported outcome after surgery
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) and urgency are common conditions and can have a profound influence on many aspects of life. Approximately one in four women has UI and one in ten has daily symptoms. Knowledge is lacking, however, on the impact of UI and urgency on the lives of affected women and their partners and on the situation of women with urinary leakage one year postoperatively.

Aims: To study the consequences of female UI and urgency for patients and their partners on quality of life (QoL), the partner relationship, and their sexual lives. Also to evaluate the success rates of three operation methods: tension-free vaginal tape (TVT), tension-free vaginal tape-obturator (TVT-O), and transobturator tape (TOT) for stress urinary incontinence (SUI), with a particular focus on women who still have urinary leakage one year after surgery.

Methods: Women seeking healthcare for UI and/or urgency and their partners were invited to answer questionnaires. The women completed disease-specific questionnaires and both the women (n = 206) and their partners (n = 109) answered questions about their psychosocial situation, partner relationship, and sexual life. Patient-reported outcomes one year after surgery with TVT, TVT-O, or TOT (n = 3334) were derived from the Swedish National Quality Register for Gynaecological Surgery.

Results: Most of the women reported that their urinary problems negatively affected their physical activities, and almost half reported negative consequences for their social life. Women aged 25–49 years were less satisfied with their psychological health, sexual life, and leisure than women aged 50–74 years. One third of both the women and their partners (all the partners were men) experienced a negative impact on their relationship, and sexual life was negatively affected in almost half of the women and one in five of their men. Coital incontinence was reported in one third of the women. Most of their men did not consider this a problem, but the majority of the affected women did.

Satisfaction with outcome of the operation did not differ between TVT, TVT-O, and TOT, but TVT showed a higher success rate for SUI than TOT did. Higher age, higher body mass index, a diagnosis of mixed urinary incontinence, and a history of urinary leakage in combination with urgency each constitute a risk for a lower operation success rate. After one year, 29% of the women still had some form of UI, but half of these were satisfied with the outcome and most reported fewer negative impacts on family, social, working, and sexual life than before the operation.

Conclusions: Female UI and/or urgency impaired QoL, particularly in young women, and had negative effects on partner relationships and on some partners’ lives. Sexual life was also affected, more often in women with UI and/or urgency than in their partners. At one-year follow-up after surgery, about one third of the women still had some form of UI, but the negative impact on their lives was reduced. A challenge for health care professionals is to initiate a dialogue with women with urinary symptoms about sexual function and what surgery can realistically be expected to accomplish.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2012. 57 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1488
Keyword
female, partner relationship, patient-reported outcomes, overactive bladder, sexual life, social impact, suburethral slings, quality of life, urgency, urinary incontinence
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-55006 (URN)978-91-7459-393-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-01, Bergasalen, Södra entrén, by 27, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-07 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, MargaretaLalos, OthonLindkvist, HåkanLalos, Ann

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