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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Arousal Incontinence in Men Following Radical Prostatectomy: Prevalence, Impact and Predictors

Phil Vu Bach, Carolyn A Salter, Darren Katz, Elizabeth Schofield, Christian J Nelson, John P Mulhall
Journal of Sexual Medicine 2019 November 14
31735611

BACKGROUND: Arousal incontinence (AI) occurs during physical or psychological sexual stimulation in men and has been described after radical prostatectomy (RP).

AIM: The goals of this study are to describe the characteristics of men experiencing AI, outline the nature of their symptoms, and assess for predictors of this condition.

METHODS: A survey with questions on AI, stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the International Index of Erectile Function and International Prostate Symptom Score were sent out to men who had undergone an RP within the past 24 months at a single institution. The data were deidentified and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Comparisons between men with and without AI were made using t-tests and χ2 and Fisher exact tests. Logistic regression in univariable and multivariable analyses were used to define predictors of AI.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The outcomes of this study included prevalence of AI, symptom severity and timing, patient and patient-perceived partner bother, management strategies used by the patients, and concurrent SUI.

RESULTS: 226 (32%) men completed the survey. Of these men, almost half (49%) experienced AI at some point during their recovery. Improvement over time was endorsed by 62% of men. 57% of men reported AI in less than half of the sexual encounters, with the amount of urine leakage being equivalent to a tablespoon or less in 88% of men. On univariate analysis, increasing degree of SUI, as measured by pads per day, was associated with AI (P = .01). A lower International Prostate Symptom Score was also associated (P = .05). On multivariate analysis, the absence of hypertension and pads per day were associated with AI (P = .01 for both).

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: AI occurred in almost half of the respondents in our series. Thus, AI should be discussed with patients before surgery to allow for realistic expectations.

STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: Strengths of this study include the largest patient population analyzed to date regarding AI and that it is the only one to address timing and patient experiences with the use of validated instruments for erectile and urinary function. Limitations include single-center data, non-validated AI patient-reported outcomes, and poor survey response rate.

CONCLUSION: Based on the available data, AI is reported by almost half of men after RP and is associated with SUI. Bach PV, Salter CA, Katz D, et al. Arousal Incontinence in Men Following Radical Prostatectomy: Prevalence, Impact and Predictors. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.

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