The prevalence and mechanism of incontinence during sexual activity after radical prostatectomy has not been well described. We determined the prevalence and severity of incontinence during sexual activity with time and the relationship between incontinence during sexual activity and stress urinary incontinence in the absence of sexual activity.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 1,459 men with prostate cancer underwent radical prostatectomy between October 2000 and December 2007, as performed by 1 surgeon. Patients completed UCLA-PCI preoperatively, and 3, 6, 12 and 24 months postoperatively. We analyzed the frequency distribution of incontinence during sexual activity and stress urinary incontinence with time. We also examined the relationship between incontinence during sexual activity and stress urinary incontinence by chi-square analysis.


The percent of patients who reported any bother from incontinence during sexual activity was 44.4% at 3 months, which decreased to 36.1% at 24 months. The percent of patients reporting major bother from incontinence during sexual activity was 22.4% and 12.1% at 3 and 24 months, respectively. Bother from incontinence during sexual activity and from stress urinary incontinence were strongly associated at all times (p <0.001). More than half of the men with major bother due to incontinence during sexual activity also reported bother from stress urinary incontinence. However, more than 10% of those with no stress urinary incontinence problem reported major bother from incontinence during sexual activity.


Incontinence during sexual activity is a persistent problem for some men after radical prostatectomy. Significant incontinence during sexual activity may occur in the absence of stress urinary incontinence during nonsexual activities. Effective management of this problem requires further investigation.


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New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York