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Associated factors of vaginal laxity and female sexual function: a cross-sectional study.

BACKGROUND: Female sexual dysfunction (FSD), including vaginal laxity (VL), can lead to a decrease in quality of life and affect partner relationships.

AIM: We aimed to investigate the associated factors of VL and FSD and their relationship with other pelvic floor disorders in a female population.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital from July to December 2022. All women referred to clinical care at the urogynecology clinic were included. Participants were assessed according to sociodemographic and clinical aspects, the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification system, sexual function, VL, sexual attitudes, sexual distress, sexual quality of life, vaginal symptoms, and pelvic floor disorders. Unadjusted and adjusted associated factors of VL and FSD were analyzed.

OUTCOMES: The primary outcome was the identification of the associated factors of VL and FSD in a female population, and secondary outcomes included the association between VL and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) with the questionnaire scores.

RESULTS: Among participants (N = 300), vaginal delivery, multiparity, perineal laceration, menopause, and gel hormone were significantly more frequent in those reporting VL (all P < .05). When compared with nulliparity, primiparity and multiparity increased the odds of VL by approximately 4 and 12 times, respectively (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.26 [95% CI, 2.05-8.85]; OR, 12.77 [95% CI, 6.53-24.96]). Menopause and perineal laceration increased the odds of VL by 4 and 6 times (unadjusted OR, 4.65 [95% CI, 2.73-7.93]; OR, 6.13 [95% CI, 3.58-10.49]). In multivariate analysis, menopause, primiparity, multiparity, and POP remained associated with VL.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Parity, as an obstetric factor, and menopause and staging of POP, as clinical factors, were associated with VL.

STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: The investigation of associated factors for VL will contribute to the understanding of its pathophysiology. The study design makes it impossible to carry out causal inference.

CONCLUSION: Menopause, primiparity, multiparity, and POP were highly associated with VL complaints in multivariate analysis.

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