Purpose: Spinal cord injury (SCI) affects sexual health of both male and female, but little attention has been given to sexuality of SCI women. Similar to penile erection, vaginal lubrication represents a neurovascular event and then both denervation and vascular damage might contribute to its impairment. Nevertheless, the relative weight of lesion location/degree and vascular risk factors in determining hypolubrication in women with SCI has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to recognize among putative determinants of poor sexual arousal in women with SCI, neurogenic and vascular/metabolic independent predictors of vaginal hypolubrication. Methods: Twenty-eight consecutive female patients admitted to a rehabilitation program because of chronic SCI (≥ 1 year) underwent clinical and biochemical evaluations, including assessment of vaginal lubrication by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). As, in people with SCI, waist circumference overestimates visceral fat mass due to abdominal muscle paralysis, metabolic syndrome (MetS) was defined according to specific criteria proposed for SCI population: BMI ≥ 22 kg/m2 and two or more of the following: triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dL (or actual treatment), HDL < 50 mg/dL, hypertension (or actual treatment), fasting glucose ≥ 100 mg/dL or diabetes mellitus type 2. Results: A FSFI lubrication sub-score < 3.6, suggestive for impaired vaginal lubrication, was exhibited by 53.7% of the study population. When compared to the group with normal lubrication, a significantly higher proportion of these women had paraplegia (93.3% vs 38.5%, p = 0.003) and met the SCI-specific criteria for MetS (73.4% vs 7.6%, p = 0.0006), whereas, no significant differences were found between the two groups in the proportion of women exhibiting the single components of MetS. At the multiple logistic regression analysis, only the presence of MetS exhibited a significant independent association with impaired vaginal lubrication (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.2, 5.8, p = 0.01). Conclusions: In women with SCI, a clustering of modifiable vascular/metabolic risk factors, constituting the MetS, could contribute to sexual dysfunctions by affecting the vaginal lubrication, independently of the level of the spinal cord lesion.

Metabolic syndrome is the key determinant of impaired vaginal lubrication in women with chronic spinal cord injury

D'Andrea S.;Castellini C.;Totaro M.;Francavilla S.;Francavilla F.;Barbonetti A.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: Spinal cord injury (SCI) affects sexual health of both male and female, but little attention has been given to sexuality of SCI women. Similar to penile erection, vaginal lubrication represents a neurovascular event and then both denervation and vascular damage might contribute to its impairment. Nevertheless, the relative weight of lesion location/degree and vascular risk factors in determining hypolubrication in women with SCI has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to recognize among putative determinants of poor sexual arousal in women with SCI, neurogenic and vascular/metabolic independent predictors of vaginal hypolubrication. Methods: Twenty-eight consecutive female patients admitted to a rehabilitation program because of chronic SCI (≥ 1 year) underwent clinical and biochemical evaluations, including assessment of vaginal lubrication by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). As, in people with SCI, waist circumference overestimates visceral fat mass due to abdominal muscle paralysis, metabolic syndrome (MetS) was defined according to specific criteria proposed for SCI population: BMI ≥ 22 kg/m2 and two or more of the following: triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dL (or actual treatment), HDL < 50 mg/dL, hypertension (or actual treatment), fasting glucose ≥ 100 mg/dL or diabetes mellitus type 2. Results: A FSFI lubrication sub-score < 3.6, suggestive for impaired vaginal lubrication, was exhibited by 53.7% of the study population. When compared to the group with normal lubrication, a significantly higher proportion of these women had paraplegia (93.3% vs 38.5%, p = 0.003) and met the SCI-specific criteria for MetS (73.4% vs 7.6%, p = 0.0006), whereas, no significant differences were found between the two groups in the proportion of women exhibiting the single components of MetS. At the multiple logistic regression analysis, only the presence of MetS exhibited a significant independent association with impaired vaginal lubrication (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.2, 5.8, p = 0.01). Conclusions: In women with SCI, a clustering of modifiable vascular/metabolic risk factors, constituting the MetS, could contribute to sexual dysfunctions by affecting the vaginal lubrication, independently of the level of the spinal cord lesion.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
MtS & lubrication SCI.pdf

non disponibili

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 647.27 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
647.27 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/145028
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 3
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact