The association between fecal incontinence and sexual activity and function in women attending a tertiary referral center. Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine whether fecal incontinence (FI) is associated with sexual activity and to compare sexual function in women with and without FI.We conducted a retrospective chart review of all new patients seen in an academic urogynecology clinic. Women who reported fecal incontinence, as defined by loss of fecal material on the Wexner scale, were compared with those without fecal incontinence. We compared sexual activity and Pelvic Organ Prolapse Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire-12 (PISQ-12) scores between groups.In our population of women with pelvic floor disorder, 588 women reported FI compared with 527 who did not. On multivariate analysis, FI was not associated with sexual activity status, but was associated with worsened PISQ-12 scores (pā€‰<ā€‰0.001). PISQ-12 item analysis found that women with FI reported more dyspareunia, fear, and avoidance of sexual activity with greater partner problems (all p <0.05) than women without FI.Women with FI were as likely to engage in sexual relations as women without FI; however, sexually active women with FI had poorer sexual function than those without FI.

publication date

  • September 2013