Original Article

International Urogynecology Journal

, 22:799

First online:

Changes in vaginal anatomy and sexual function after vaginal surgery

  • John A. OcchinoAffiliated withDivision of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic
  • , Emanuel C. TrabucoAffiliated withDivision of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic
  • , Christine A. HeislerAffiliated withDivision of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic
  • , Christopher J. KlingeleAffiliated withDivision of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic
  • , John B. GebhartAffiliated withDivision of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic Email author 

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Introduction and hypothesis

The study’s objectives were to determine changes in vaginal length and caliber after vaginal surgery and to correlate changes with sexual function.


This prospective study measured vaginal length and caliber before and immediately after vaginal surgery and at 5- to 8-week follow-up. A sexual function questionnaire was administered preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively.


Ninety-two women were enrolled (mean age, 64 years); 44 (47.8%) were sexually active. The most common procedure was Mayo-McCall culdoplasty in 85 women (92.4%). Fourteen (15.2%) had intentional vaginal shortening and narrowing (coning). Mean vaginal length changed from 10.4 cm preoperatively to 8.7 cm at 5- to 8-week follow-up in women not having coning. Mean vaginal caliber changed from 3.2 to 2.8 cm. Preoperative and postoperative sexual function questionnaire scores did not correlate with vaginal measurements.


Vaginal shortening and narrowing occurred after vaginal surgery; sexual function was unchanged.


Gynecologic surgical procedures Pelvic organ prolapse Sexual dysfunction, physiological Urinary incontinence Vagina