Is Meatal Analgesia Necessary for Pain Reduction During Cystoscopy in Females? A Prospective Randomized Study

Published:September 10, 2020DOI:



      To evaluate whether anesthesia of the meatal orifice reduces pain during cystoscopy in women, known to cause significant pain, discomfort and anxiety in women. Secondary end-point was to compare pain between rigid and flexible cystoscopy.


      A total of 120 women, median age 66 (interquartile range 57-69), referred for office cystoscopy were prospectively randomized into 2 groups according to meatal orifice exposure: (1) 5-minute meatus exposure with 2% lidocaine gel; (2) 5-minute meatal exposure with water soluble gel. In each group a pad soaked by the gel was externally placed on the meatal orifice. Each group was further divided to flexible or rigid cystoscopy. Exclusion criteria included urethral stricture, urinary tract infection, chronic pain disease (e.g., IC/PBS), neurogenic disorder, allergy to lubricant, and concurrent pain medication. In all patients, a water-based lubricant applied on the cystoscope, was used for lubrication. A 0-10 visual analogue scale was performed at 4 checkpoints: before examination, immediately following urethral penetration, immediately at end of procedure and 15 minutes after completion


      Study groups did not significantly differ in clinical or demographic parameters. Pain level prior to procedure was 0 in all patients. Mean visual analogue scale immediately after urethral penetration was 4.2 ± 2.3 in both groups 1 and 2 (P= 1). No significant differences in other checkpoints was reported. Further subanalysis by cystoscope type did not demonstrate significance.


      Meatal analgesia does not increase tolerance to cystoscopy in females. Pain level is not reduced by the use of flexible cystoscope in the female population.
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