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Sexual activity in obese women improves after bariatric surgery

16 Dec 2019
Powering it through: Patients battling with obesity need more than just exercise and a healthy diet.

Bariatric surgery helps improve sexual activity in women with morbid obesity a year after the procedure, a recent study has found. The Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire-International Urogynecology Association–Revised (PISQ-IR) is a useful tool to measure sexual function in this population.

Researchers conducted a prospective, monocentric study on 54 women (median age, 42 years) who underwent bariatric surgery via sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Sexual activity, pelvic organ prolapse, anal incontinence, postoperative complications and total weight loss were among the study outcomes measured at the 1-year follow-up.

Fifty-one women were able to complete the follow-up questionnaire. Nine participants transitioned from being sexually inactive to being active 1 year after the procedure.

Eight women were sexually inactive before and after the procedure. In this group, PISQ-IR scores showed no significant change over time. In women who were sexually active for the entire study duration (n=34), PISQ-IR scores improved over time, particularly in the domains of arousal and global quality of life.

Moreover, at a threshold value of 13, a drop in body mass index 1 year after surgery correlated with better sexual function. When the magnitude of decrease was more than 13, more sexually active women showed improvements in PISQ-IR score.

“This is the first study using PISQ-IR questionnaire for sexual activity after bariatric surgery to our acquaintance,” said researchers. The present findings confirm the benefit of the procedure in terms of quality of life, with regard to sexual activity.

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