Sexual Function after Minimally Invasive Total Hysterectomy and Sacrocolpopexy

Elizabeth J. Geller*, C. Emi Bretschneider, Jennifer M. Wu, Kim Kenton, Catherine A. Matthews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective: To evaluate sexual function in women undergoing minimally invasive total hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy (TLH + SCP) with a lightweight polypropylene Y-mesh 1 year after surgery. Design: This was a planned secondary analysis of a 5-site randomized trial comparing permanent (2-0 Gore-Tex; W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Newark, DE) vs absorbable suture (2-0 polydioxanone suture) for vaginal attachment of a Y-mesh (Upsylon; Boston Scientific Corporation, Natick, MA) graft during TLH + SCP. Setting: Multicenter trial at 5 study sites (4 academic and 1 community). The study sites were: (1) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; (2) Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, NC; (3) Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; (4) Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA; and (5) Atlantic Health Medical Group, Morristown, NJ. Patients: Women previously enrolled in an original study undergoing TLH + SCP. Interventions: Quality-of-life questionnaires and physical examination. Measurements and Main Results: The primary objective was to assess changes in sexual function at 1 year after surgery as measured by the Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire, International Urogynecological Association–Revised. The secondary objective was to assess the factors associated with postoperative sexual activity and dyspareunia. Of the 200 participants enrolled, 182 (92.8%) completed follow-up: n = 95/99 Gore-Tex and n = 87/101 polydioxanone suture. The mean age was 60 ± 10 years; body mass index was 27 ± 5 kg/m2; 78% were menopausal and 56% sexually active before surgery. At 1 year after surgery, 63% were sexually active: 93% of the sexually active women preoperatively remained so at 1 year, and 24% reported new sexual activity at 1 year (p <.001). Sexual function at 1 year showed marked improvement in activity, quality, and arousal/orgasm compared with baseline Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire scores. Dyspareunia rates decreased from 22% preoperatively to 16.5% at 1 year (p = .65). Women who were sexually active at 1 year were younger (56.8 ± 9.6 years vs 65.4 ± 9.2 years, p <.001), more likely to be premenopausal (31.6% vs 7.4%, p = .001), and less likely to undergo bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (53.3% vs 78.9%, p <.001). Conclusion: Women undergoing TLH + SCP with a lightweight mesh graft report increased rates of sexual activity, improved sexual quality and arousal/orgasm, and lower rates of dyspareunia at 1 year after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Dyspareunia
  • Mesh
  • Prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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