International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 553–556

Can stronger pelvic muscle floor improve sexual function?

  • Lior Lowenstein
  • Ilan Gruenwald
  • Irena Gartman
  • Yoram Vardi
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00192-009-1077-5

Cite this article as:
Lowenstein, L., Gruenwald, I., Gartman, I. et al. Int Urogynecol J (2010) 21: 553. doi:10.1007/s00192-009-1077-5


Introduction and hypothesis

This study aims to evaluate the association between pelvic floor muscle (PFM) strength and sexual functioning.


Retrospective chart review of consecutive all women who were referred with a primary complaint of sexual dysfunction. Women underwent standardized clinical evaluation including pelvic muscle strength which was ranked from 0 (weak) to 2 (strong). The duration of pelvic muscle contraction was also recorded in seconds. Sexual function was evaluated by using a validated questionnaire, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).


One hundred seventy-six women with a mean age of 37 ± 11 years were included. Women with strong or moderate PFM scored significantly higher on the FSFI orgasmic and arousal domains than women with weak PFM (5.4 ± 0.8 vs. 2.8 ± 0.8, and 3.9 ± 0.5 vs. 1.7 ± 0.24, respectively; P < 0.001). The duration of PFM contraction was correlated with FSFI orgasmic domain and sexual arousal (r = 0.26, P < 0.001; r = 0.32, P < 0.0001, respectively).


Our findings suggest that both the orgasm and arousal function are related to better PFM function.


Duration of muscle contractionMuscle strengthPelvic floor musclesSexual function



pelvic floor muscle


pelvic floor muscle training


maximum voluntary contraction


Female Sexual Function Index


sexual dysfunction

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lior Lowenstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ilan Gruenwald
    • 2
  • Irena Gartman
    • 2
  • Yoram Vardi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyRambam Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Neuro-Urology Unit, Rambam Health Care Campus, Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael