Sexual function after pelvic organ prolapse surgery: a systematic review comparing different approaches to pelvic floor repair

Danielle D. Antosh, Alexis A. Dieter, Ethan M. Balk, Gregory Kanter, Shunaha Kim-Fine, Kate V. Meriwether, Mamta M. Mamik, Meadow M. Good, Ruchira Singh, Alexandriah Alas, Mohamed A. Foda, David D. Rahn, Rebecca G. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Women consider preservation of sexual activity and improvement of sexual function as important goals after pelvic organ prolapse surgery. This systematic review aimed to compare sexual activity and function before and after prolapse surgery among specific approaches to pelvic organ prolapse surgery including native tissue repairs, transvaginal synthetic mesh, biologic grafts, and sacrocolpopexy. Data Sources: MEDLINE, Embase, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched from inception to March 2021. Study Eligibility Criteria: Prospective comparative cohort and randomized studies of pelvic organ prolapse surgeries were included that reported the following specific sexual function outcomes: baseline and postoperative sexual activity, dyspareunia, and validated sexual function questionnaire scores. Notably, the following 4 comparisons were made: transvaginal synthetic mesh vs native tissue repairs, sacrocolpopexy vs native tissue repairs, transvaginal synthetic mesh vs sacrocolpopexy, and biologic graft vs native tissue repairs. Methods: Studies were double screened for inclusion and extracted for population characteristics, sexual function outcomes, and methodological quality. Evidence profiles were generated for each surgery comparison by grading quality of evidence for each outcome across studies using a modified Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Results: Screening of 3651 abstracts was performed and identified 77 original studies. The overall quality of evidence was moderate to high. There were 26 studies comparing transvaginal synthetic mesh with native tissue repairs, 5 comparing sacrocolpopexy with native tissue repairs, 5 comparing transvaginal synthetic mesh with sacrocolpopexy, and 7 comparing biologic graft with native tissue repairs. For transvaginal synthetic mesh vs native tissue repairs, no statistical differences were found in baseline or postoperative sexual activity, baseline or postoperative total dyspareunia, persistent dyspareunia, and de novo dyspareunia. Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire short form change scores were not different between transvaginal synthetic mesh and native tissue repairs (net difference, −0.3; 95% confidence interval, −1.4 to 0.8). For sacrocolpopexy vs native tissue repairs, baseline or postoperative sexual activity, baseline or postoperative total dyspareunia, de novo dyspareunia, and Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire short form score differences were not different. For biologic graft vs native tissue repairs, baseline or postoperative sexual activity, baseline or postoperative total dyspareunia, and Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire short form changes were also not different. For transvaginal synthetic mesh vs sacrocolpopexy, there was no difference in sexual activity and sexual function score change. Based on 2 studies, postoperative total dyspareunia was more common in transvaginal synthetic mesh than sacrocolpopexy (27.5% vs 12.2%; odds ratio, 2.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.33–5.58). The prevalence of postoperative dyspareunia was lower than preoperative dyspareunia after all surgery types. Conclusion: Sexual function comparisons are most robust between transvaginal synthetic mesh and native tissue repairs and show similar prevalence of sexual activity, de novo dyspareunia, and sexual function scores. Total dyspareunia is higher after transvaginal synthetic mesh than sacrocolpopexy. Although sexual function data are sparse in the other comparisons, no other differences in sexual activity, dyspareunia, and sexual function score change were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475.e1-475.e19
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume225
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • dyspareunia
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • PISQ-12
  • sexual activity
  • sexual function
  • surgery
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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