The Effect of Myoma Uteri and Myomectomy on Sexual Function.
Authors: Devrim Ertunc, Roza Uzun, Ekrem C Tok, Arzu Doruk, and Saffet Dilek
Study from: Mersin University School of Medicine, Mersin, Turkey.
Journal: Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009;6:1032-38.
Problem: To my knowledge this is the first good study of sexual issues for women with fibroids before and after myomectomy surgery.
Study: The authors studied 80 women with fibroids and 75 women without fibroids using an established questionnaire to determine how women felt about sexual matters before and after myomectomy surgery. Specifically, the questionnaires asked about libido, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain with intercourse.
Findings: Women with fibroids had worse pain and over-all sexual satisfaction scores than women without fibroids, but there were no differences in libido, arousal, lubrication or orgasm. Fibroids on the top of the uterus (fundal) and in the back wall of the uterus (posterior) caused more pain with intercourse. Women with a very large fibroid uterus had worse sexual satisfaction and pain with intercourse. Due to the relief of pain, total sexual satisfaction improved for most women after a myomectomy.
Author’s Conclusions: Fibroids appear to interfere with sexual satisfaction mainly due to pain during sexual intercourse, although fibroids do not seem to have an effect on libido, arousal, lubrication or orgasm. Myomectomy may alleviate pain during intercourse, and thereby improve sexual satisfaction.
Dr Parker’s Comments: There have been very few studies examining the effect of fibroids on women’s sexual satisfaction, and even fewer on the effects of different treatment options on sexual satisfaction. For that reason, the current findings that women with fibroids have more pelvic pain with intercourse and that myomectomy appears to help many of these women are good steps in helping women understand their symptoms. Similar research with regard to other treatment options including uterine artery embolization, focused ultrasound, mefipristone, etc, are sorely needed.