Thursday, March 28, 2013

Loyola Clinical Trial to Determine Impact of Female Incontinence on Sex and Relationships

Nationally renowned researchers looking for couples to enroll in study

MAYWOOD, Ill. – A clinical trial is under way at Loyola University Health System to evaluate the impact of urge urinary incontinence (UUI) on a couple’s relationship and sex life.

“Urinary incontinence is a socially debilitating disease that affects thousands of women,” said Elizabeth Mueller MD, director, Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, LUHS. “These women often experience anxiety about physical intimacy due to fear of an accident during sex. This apprehension may limit physical intimacy and lead to dissatisfaction in a relationship."

Few studies have examined the role of urinary incontinence on the dynamics of an intimate relationship and none have evaluated the impact of successful treatment. Loyola researchers will determine if couples have lower levels of relationship satisfaction and sexual function when the female partner has UUI and if successfully treating this issue will improve these aspects of the relationship.

This study also will evaluate which aspects of relationships are most affected by UUI. Loyola researchers believe that men tend to identify changes in sexual intimacy based on intercourse frequency, whereas women typically identify changes with other interactions such as handholding and communication.

“Chronic illness places emotional, physical and financial burdens on relationships,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, dean, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “This trial will allow us to better understand the social and emotional impact that urinary incontinence has on the well-being of an intimate relationship and the outcome when we treat these patients."

Loyola researchers are looking to recruit couples for this study. Study participants will complete a series of questionnaires, which researchers will evaluate before and after treatment. Couples can call (708) 216-2067 to determine if they are eligible.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.