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An observational longitudinal study to evaluate miction, defecation, and sexual function after radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy for early-stage cervical cancer
  1. Q. D. Pieterse*,
  2. C. P. Maas*,
  3. M. M. Ter Kuile*,
  4. M. Lowik*,
  5. M. A. Van Eijkeren,
  6. J. B.M.Z. Trimbos* and
  7. G. G. Kenter*
  1. * Department of Gynecology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. Department of Gynecology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Address correspondence and reprint request to: Q. D. Pieterse, M.D., or G.G. Kenter, M.D., PhD, Department of Gynecology, Leiden University Medical Center, K6-P, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Email: q.d.pieterse{at}; g.g.kenter.gyn{at}


The objective of this study was to evaluate the problems with miction, defecation, and sexuality after a radical hysterectomy with or without adjuvant radiotherapy for the treatment of cervical cancer stage I–IIA. This study included an observational longitudinal study of self-reported bladder, defecation, and sexual problems with a baseline score. Ninety-four women were included in the study. An age-matched control group consisted of 224 women. The patients showed significantly more negative effects on sexual function compared with both the controls and their situation before the treatment throughout 24 months of follow-up. The problems included less lubrication, a narrow and short vagina, senseless areas around the labia, dyspareunia, and sexual dissatisfaction. Up to 12 months after the treatment, the patients complained significantly more of little or no urge to urinate and diarrhea as compared with the controls. Adjuvant radiotherapy did not increase the risk of bladder dysfunction, colorectal motility disorders, and sexual functions. We conclude that a radical hysterectomy for the treatment of early-stage cervical carcinoma is associated with adverse effects mainly on sexual functioning.

  • cervical carcinoma
  • quality of life
  • radical hysterectomy
  • sexual sequelae
  • side effects

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  • By submission, the author(s) declare no conflict of interest in the work.