International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 1435–1448 | Cite as

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

  • Rachel N. Pauls
  • Angela N. Fellner
  • G. Willy Davila
Original Article

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.

Keywords

Vaginal laxity Vaginal looseness Sexual function Urogynecology 

References

  1. 1.
    Millheiser LS et al (2010) Radiofrequency treatment of vaginal laxity after vaginal delivery: nonsurgical vaginal tightening. J Sex Med 7:3088–3095PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lukes A, Kingsberg S (2010) Ob/Gyn’s attitudes and perceptions regarding sexual health of patients after delivery. JSM 7(Suppl 3):129Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kingsberg S, Millheiser L (2010) Vaginal laxity after childbirth: qualitative survey of women’s perceptions, effect on changes in self-image and sexual relationships. JSM 7(Suppl 3):127Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Millheiser LS, Kingsberg S, Pauls RN (2010) A cross-sectional survey to assess prevalence and symptoms associated with laxity of the vaginal introitus. Int Urogynecol J 21(Suppl 1):298–299Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Goodman MP et al (2010) A large multicenter outcome study of female genital plastic surgery. J Sex Med 7(4 Pt 1):1565–1577PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pardo JS et al (2006) Colpoperineoplasty in women with a sensation of a wide vagina. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 85(9):1125–1127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goodman MP (2011) Female genital cosmetic and plastic surgery: a review. JSM 8:1813–1825Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schimpf MO et al (2010) Does vaginal size impact sexual activity and function? Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 21(4):447–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Occhino JA et al (2011) Changes in vaginal anatomy and sexual function after vaginal surgery. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 22:799–804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pauls RN et al (2005) Practice patterns of physician members of the American Urogynecologic Society regarding female sexual dysfunction: results of a national survey. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 16(6):460–467PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hagglund D, Wadensten B (2007) Fear of humiliation inhibits women’s care-seeking behavior for long-term urinary incontinence. Scand J Caring Sci 21(3):305–312PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Glazener CM (1997) Sexual function after childbirth: Women’s experiences, persistent morbidity and lack of professional recognition. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 104:330–335PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Benson RC, Hardy KA, Gildengorin G, Hsia D (2011) International survey of physician recommendation for tracheostomy for spinal muscular atrophy type I. Pediatr Pulmonol. doi:10.1002/ppul.21617
  14. 14.
    Matlock D, Cartwright R, Cardozo L (2010) Pros vs Cons. Vaginal Rejuvenation. IUGA Quarterly 5(1):1Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel N. Pauls
    • 1
  • Angela N. Fellner
    • 2
  • G. Willy Davila
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyGood Samaritan HospitalCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Hatton Institute for Research & EducationGood Samaritan HospitalCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Gynecology, Section of Urogynecology & Pelvic Floor DisordersCleveland Clinic FloridaWestonUSA

Personalised recommendations