Women with greater pelvic floor muscle strength have better sexual function

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2014 May;93(5):497-502. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12379.


Objective: To investigate the relation between pelvic floor muscle strength and sexual function among women with higher and lower pelvic floor muscle strength.

Design: A cross-sectional study was performed among employees and students of the University.

Setting: Urogynecology department, Federal University of Pampa, Brazil, carried out between January and July of 2012.

Population: Forty women, aged 20-28 years.

Methods: Forty-nine women were screened and nine were excluded. Baseline information of the participants was obtained. The Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire was applied and pelvic floor muscle strength was randomly measured by transvaginal palpation according to the Ortiz scale, and by perineometry. Women were allocated into two groups according to muscle strength.

Main outcome measures: Index of sexual function and pelvic floor muscle strength

Results: Women with stronger pelvic floor muscles scored higher in the following domains: desire, excitement, orgasm and general score of the questionnaire (4.9 ± 0.73 vs. 3.8 ± 0.58; 5.0 ± 0.35 vs. 4.3 ± 0.82; 5.8 ± 0.21 vs. 4.0 ± 1.00 and 32.4 ± 0.77 vs. 27.6 ± 3.29, p < 0.001). There was a moderate correlation between pelvic floor muscle pressure and both sexual satisfaction (r = 0.47, p = 0.03) and lubrication (r = -0.69, p = 0.001) as well as the manual evaluation of pelvic floor muscle strength, graded by the Ortiz and perineometry, which were interrelated (r = 0.65, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that women with stronger pelvic floor muscles have better sexual function.

Keywords: Muscle strength; pelvic floor muscles; sexual function; sexuality; women's health issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bodily Secretions / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Manometry
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Orgasm
  • Pelvic Floor / physiology*
  • Sexuality / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult