, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 1435-1448
Date: 06 Jun 2012

Vaginal laxity: a poorly understood quality of life problem; a survey of physician members of the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA)

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Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Our goal was to assess how physician members of the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA) perceive and manage vaginal laxity.

Methods

An Internet-based survey was circulated targeting physician members of IUGA that consisted of 27 questions and was designed to query attitudes and practices with respect to vaginal laxity.

Results

Five hundred and sixty-three of the 2,235 surveys were completed (25 % response rate). Most respondents (65 % male and 35 % female) listed urogynecology as their specialty. The geographical distribution was Europe (39 %), North America (23 %), Asia (15 %), South America (14 %), Australia (6 %), and Africa (3 %). Eighty-three percent described laxity as underreported by their patients. The majority considered laxity a bothersome condition to patients that impacts relationship happiness and sexual function. The introitus was listed most often as being responsible for these symptoms. Whereas only 54 % offered surgical treatment, surgery was cited as more effective than Kegel exercises or physical therapy. North Americans were more likely to prefer and perform surgical treatment for this problem.

Conclusion

Vaginal laxity is common and may impact sexual function and quality of life. Expanding our knowledge regarding pathophysiology and treatment would be of benefit to these patients.

This research was presented as a poster at the IUGA annual meeting, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2011.