Vaginal Laxity, Sexual Distress, and Sexual Dysfunction: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Plastic Surgery Practice

Ali A. Qureshi, Ketan Sharma, Melissa Thornton, Terence M. Myckatyn, Marissa M. Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Sexual health issues can be characterized by vaginal laxity (VL), sexual distress, and sexual dysfunction. The epidemiology of these issues in plastic surgery patients, and especially breast cancer survivors, remains poorly understood. Objectives: To prospectively assess sexual health issues in a plastic surgery patient population with and without breast cancer. Methods: A prospective cohort study was created in our practice from June to August 2017 with administration of a survey including the vaginal laxity questionnaire (VLQ), female sexual distress scale-revised (FSDS-R), and female sexual function index (FSFI). Multivariate logistic regression identified the controlled effect of patient variables on development of sexual health issues. Results: Of 291 patients solicited, 239 completed the survey (37.7% breast cancer survivors vs 62.3% without). Prevalence of VL was nearly 1 in 6 women. Of these, 46.0% met criteria for sexual distress (FSDS-R ≥ 11.0) and 64.8% had sexual dysfunction (FSFI ≤ 26.5). Breast cancer survivors exhibited significantly greater overall sexual dysfunction (P < 0.001) and greater dysfunction within all FSFI domains of desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain (all P < 0.02). On multivariate regression, number of vaginal deliveries predicted development of VL (OR 1.87, P < 0.001), presence of VL predicted sexual distress (OR 3.01, P = 0.007), while history of breast cancer predicted sexual dysfunction (OR 1.87, P < 0.05). Conclusions: Sexual health issues are prevalent amongst plastic surgery patients. Aesthetic practices can improve patients' quality of life by focusing on these areas. Potential therapeutic options to address sexual health issues should consider addressing vaginal laxity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-880
Number of pages8
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 13 2018


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