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Outcomes of intravesical chondroitin-sulfate and combined hyaluronic-acid/chondroitin-sulfate therapy on female sexual function in bladder pain syndrome


Introduction and hypothesis

Our aim was to determine the efficacy of intravesical chondroitin sulfate (CS) and combined hyaluronic acid/chondroitin sufate (HA/CS) treatment and their effects on sexual function of females with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS).


A total of 68 female patients with IC/BPS between 2012 and 2018 were reviewed. Thirty-three patients were treated with combined HA/CS and 28 patients were treated with CS. Instillations were performed weekly for the first month, biweekly for the second month, and monthly in the third and fourth months. Before and after the sixth month of the treatment, all patients were evaluated with the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), visual analog pain scale (VAS), interstitial cystitis symptom index (ICSI), interstitial cystitis problem index (ICPI), and voiding diary, and changes were recorded.


A statistically significant improvement was determined for FSFI, VAS, ICSI, and ICPI scores after treatment in both groups. Among baseline characteristics, a weak but significant negative correlation was determined only between the ICSI score improvement and age (rho: −0.38; p = 0.03) on statistical analysis. Compared with CS, combined HA/CS treatment was superior in terms of ICSI, ICPI, and daytime and nighttime frequency improvement (0.042, 0.038, 0.039, and 0.045; respectively). All domains of the sexual function index were significantly improved at the sixth month of intravesical therapy in both groups. A statistical difference was not found between the two groups.


Although it seems that intravesical HA/CS combination is superior to CS alone in terms of symptom reduction, both of them have beneficial effects on sexual function.

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Correspondence to Burak Arslan.

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Arslan, B., Gönültaş, S., Gökmen, E. et al. Outcomes of intravesical chondroitin-sulfate and combined hyaluronic-acid/chondroitin-sulfate therapy on female sexual function in bladder pain syndrome. Int Urogynecol J 30, 1857–1862 (2019).

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  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Sexual function
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Hyaluronic acid