Introduction and hypothesis
Dyspareunia, the symptom of painful sexual intercourse, is a common sexual dysfunction in reproductive-aged women. Because of its multifactorial etiology, a multidisciplinary approach may be required to treat it. Musculoskeletal factors play an important role; thus, rehabilitating the pelvic floor and modifying the tone of the pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) may be an effective way to treat this dysfunction. The aim of this randomized controlled clinical study was to evaluate the effects of pelvic floor rehabilitation techniques on dyspareunia.
Of 84 women, assessed for eligibility, 64 women with dyspareunia were randomized into two groups: the experimental group (n = 32) received electrotherapy, manual therapy, and PFM exercises and the control group (n = 32) had no treatment while on the waiting list. Evaluations of PFM strength and endurance, sexual function, and pain were made directly before and after 3 months of treatment and at the 3-month follow-up.
Between-group changes showed significant improvement in the experimental group in comparison with control group. Mean difference in the PFM strength (according to the 0-5 Oxford scale) between groups was 2.01 and the mean difference of endurance was 6.26 s. Also, the mean difference in the Female Sexual Function Index score (the score ranges from 2 to 95) was 51.05, and the mean difference in the VAS score was 7.32. All of the changes were statistically significant (p < 0.05).
According to the results, pelvic floor rehabilitation is an important part of a multidisciplinary treatment approach to dyspareunia.
International Urogynecology Journal volume 30, pages1849–1855 (2019)
F Ghaderi, P Bastani, S Hajebrahimi, M Asghari, B Berghmans