Can stronger pelvic muscle floor improve sexual function?

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

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

Methods

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).

Results

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).

Conclusions

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

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Abbreviations

PFM:

pelvic floor muscle

PFMT:

pelvic floor muscle training

MVC:

maximum voluntary contraction

FSFI:

Female Sexual Function Index

SD:

sexual dysfunction

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Correspondence to Lior Lowenstein.

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Lowenstein, L., Gruenwald, I., Gartman, I. et al. Can stronger pelvic muscle floor improve sexual function?. Int Urogynecol J 21, 553–556 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-009-1077-5

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Keywords

  • Duration of muscle contraction
  • Muscle strength
  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • Sexual function