Peri-urethral bulking injections (PBI) gain popularity for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI), but – in contrast to mid-urethral sling (MUS) surgery – little is known about its impact on sexual function.
This was a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study that included patients with moderate to severe SUI undergoing either MUS surgery or PBI with polydimethylsiloxane Urolastic (PDMS-U). The validated Dutch and English version of the ‘Pelvic Organ Prolapse and/or Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire – IUGA Revised’ (PISQ-IR) was used to assess sexual function at baseline, at 6 and 12 months of follow-up. For between-group analysis, differences in baseline characteristics were corrected using multivariate analysis of covariance.
The primary outcome was the PISQ-IR single summary score of sexually active (SA) women following both procedures, calculated by mean calculation. Secondary outcomes were the PISQ-IR subscale scores of SA and non-sexually active (NSA) women, the proportions of sexual activity and subjective improvement (‘Patient Global Impression of Improvement’ (PGI-I)).
A total of 259 women (MUS: n = 146, PBI: n = 113) were included in this study. The PISQ-IR single summary score of SA women improved following both interventions (in the MUS group from 3.2 to 3.4 and in the PBI group from 3.0 to 3.3 after 12 months). After correcting for differences in baseline characteristics, the PISQ-IR summary score at 6 and 12 months was similar for both treatment groups. For SA women, condition-specific and condition-impact subscale scores significantly improved following both procedures.
In treating SUI, PBI is inferior to MUS surgery. However, there is a need for less invasive strategies, especially for women who are unfit for surgery or have contraindications. Sexual function improves after PBI using PDMS-U, which is relevant for the counselling of women with SUI about available treatment options.
Strength: until this study, there was a lack of knowledge about the effects of PBI on sexual function.
there may be indication bias as we did not perform a randomized controlled trial.
PBI using PMDS-U and MUS surgery for the treatment of SUI improve sexual function equally in SA women, mainly by decreasing the condition’s impact on sexual activity and quality. Latul YP, Casteleijn FM, Zwolsman SE, et al. Sexual Function Following Treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence With Bulk Injection Therapy and Mid-Urethral Sling Surgery. J Sex Med 2022;XX:XXX-XXX.

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