Comparison of the Efficacy of Male Sexual Activity Versus Alpha-Blockers in the Expulsion of Distal Ureteric Stones: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2021)

Type of publication:Systematic Review

Author(s):Juman, Charlotte; Bruce, Angus; Kwan, Tsun Y; *Krishan, Anil; Ehsanullah, Syed Ali Mohsin; Khashaba, Shehab; Rafie, Mohamed A.

Citation:Cureus. 13(11):e19347, 2021 Nov.

Abstract:Globally, the prevalence of urolithiasis is increasing, with limited effective treatment options. Though debate exists within the literature, the use of medical expulsive therapy (MET) for distal ureteric stones in the form of alpha-blockers is commonplace. Alpha-blockers work via the inhibition of norepinephrine, resulting in a small degree of distal ureteric relaxation. Nitric oxide (NO), the main neurotransmitter involved in penile erection, causes smooth muscle relaxation of the distal ureter. It is hypothesised that these alternative pathways may achieve the same desire clinical effect. To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of male sexual activity, in the form of intercourse or masturbation, to alpha-blockers in the expulsion of ureteric stones. We conducted a comprehensive search of electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, CENTRAL and Google Scholar), identifying studies comparing male sexual activity versus alpha-blockers, in male patients with distal ureteric stones. The Cochrane risk-of-bias tool was used to assess the included studies. For data analysis, a random effects model was used in the event of significant heterogeneity (>75%), with fixed-effects modelling in the event of low-moderate heterogeneity. A search of electronic databases found three randomised control trials (RCTs), enrolling a total of 262 patients. There was no statistically significant difference observed when patients engaged in sexual activity rather than alpha-blocker, when looking at stone expulsion rate at two weeks (P=0.36), expulsion rate at four weeks (P=0.57), or the mean stone expulsion time (P=0.21). Furthermore, there was no significant difference observed when looking at analgesic requirements (P=0.43), or the requirement for additional procedures (P=0.57). Our meta-analysis demonstrated that male sexual activity as an alternative therapy for distal ureteric stones had comparable outcomes to the use of alpha-blocker, proving a viable alternative therapy in those patients wishing to avoid pharmacological management.

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