In Colombia, Sexual Dysfunction Linked to Higher Rates of LUTS

People with sexual dysfunction should be screened for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), the results of a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study suggest.

In turn, the authors also recommend that patients experiencing LUTS be screened for sexual dysfunction.

Past research has associated LUTS with sexual dysfunction, but little research has been conducted in Latin America, the authors said. The current study focused on Colombian patients aged 18 and older. It was a sub-analysis of a larger study on LUTs and overactive bladder.

Researchers worked with 1,056 subjects (499 men and 557 women) from five Colombian metropolitan areas. The participants completed various tools that assessed them for LUTS, overactive bladder, and urinary incontinence. Men’s erectile function was assessed with the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM). Women completed the 6-item Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI-6).

Approximately 11% of the men and 33% of the women were not sexually active. Of those that were sexually active, about 53% of the men and 39% of the women were considered to have erectile dysfunction (ED) or female sexual dysfunction (FSD), respectively.

The most frequently-reported issues for men included difficulty maintaining an erection after penetrating a partner (13%) and difficulty achieving an erection hard enough for penetration (11%).

For women, the most common issues were inadequate vaginal lubrication (42%) and poor arousal (29%). Over 90% of the women with lubrication issues experienced dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

Using the International Prostate Symptom Score (which may also be used to assess LUTS in women) the researchers determined the following rates of moderate-to-severe LUTS

Women with FSD 27%
Women without FSD 17%
Men with ED 13%
Men without ED 8%

“Overall, regardless of age, women with FSD and men with ED had higher rates of various LUTS,” the authors wrote.

They added that city of residence, presence of diabetes, menopause, urge urinary incontinence, and nocturia (frequent urination during the night) were associated with female sexual dysfunction.

For men aged 40 and over, education level below a high school diploma, depression, urge urinary incontinence, city of residence, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying were associated with ED.

“We believe that this study raises awareness of the issues exposed, and that actions should be taken accordingly,” the authors wrote.

They recommended that patients with LUTS be assessed for sexual dysfunction and that patients with sexual dysfunction be assessed for LUTS.



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