Polypharmacy and Multimorbidity in the Urogynecology Population and Their Effect on Pelvic Floor Symptoms

Stephanie W. Zuo, Laura Tellechea, Jaden R. Kohn, Chi Chiung Grace Chen, Nitya Abraham, Ava Leegant, Priyanka Kadam Halani, Melissa Laudano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Polypharmacy and multimorbidity are common in older adults but has not been well studied in the urogynecologic patient population. Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of polypharmacy and multimorbidity in a diverse outpatient urogynecologic population and to examine whether polypharmacy and/or multimorbidity were associated with lower urinary tract symptoms, pelvic organ prolapse, defecatory distress, and/or female sexual dysfunction. Study Design: This is a secondary analysis of a dual-center cross-sectional study of new patients presenting for evaluation of pelvic floor disorders at 2 urban academic outpatient urogynecology clinics. Baseline demographics and clinical characteristics were obtained from the electronic medical record. Validated surveys were administered to determine severity of lower urinary tract symptoms (Overactive Bladder Validated 8-Question Screener, Urogenital Distress Inventory-6), pelvic floor dysfunction (Pelvic Organ Prolapse Distress Inventory-6, Colorectal-Anal Distress Inventory-8), and sexual dysfunction (6-item Female Sexual Function Index). Standard statistical techniques were used. Results: One hundred ninety-seven women with mean age 58.8 years (SD, 13.4 years) were included, and most were of minority race/ethnicity (Black, 34.0%; Hispanic, 21.8%). The majority of participants met criteria for polypharmacy (58.4%) and multimorbidity (85.8%), with a mean prescription number of 6.5 (SD, ± 4.9) and mean number of medical comorbidities of 4.9 (SD, ± 3.3). Polypharmacy and multimorbidity were significantly associated with higher CRADI-8 scores. Specifically, polypharmacy was associated with straining with bowel movements and painful stools, whereas multimorbidity was associated with incomplete emptying and fecal urgency. There was no significant association between polypharmacy and multimorbidity with urinary symptoms, prolapse, or sexual dysfunction. Conclusions: Polypharmacy and multimorbidity are common in the urogynecologic population. There is a relationship between greater defecatory distress and polypharmacy and multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Surgery


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