Female Sexual Function
Pelvic floor training has been shown to improve female sexual function when initiated during the first 6 months post partum. In a recent prospective randomized clinical trail pelvic floor exercise was compared to no intervention among first time new moms. Sexual arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction scores were improved for the training group but not for controls (p<0.001). Good to know. Tell someone you like. Women with stress urinary incontinence who undergo supervised pelvic floor muscle training can also expect to experience improved sexual function. Zahariou et. al. reported statically significant improvement in the Female Sexual Function Index scores (20.3 -> 26.8) among 70 women completing a 12 month program of supervised pelvic floor muscle training. In a separate study performed by Beji an improvement in sexual desire, performance during coitus, and achievement of orgasm was observed in women who received pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation.
Recently, musculoskeletal factors have been recognized as significant contributors to the mechanism of pelvic pain and associated sexual dysfunction. In particular, pelvic floor muscle hypertonus has been implicated. This, in my experience, is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed causes of pelvic pain, and pain related sexual dysfunction, among women. As is true for any other neuromuscular system poor conditioning is associated with greater risk of injury and pain related to a hypertonus state (sometimes called levator myalgia). Regular pelvic floor conditioning is the best defense. Individuals presently dealing with this problem may need to under go a physiotherapy program, or even injection of local anesthetic, to promote relaxation of the pelvic floor prior to the gradual introduction of a conditioning program.
So….what do you think?
Is pelvic floor fitness related to female sexual function? Use our Pfilates DVD and find out for yourself.