Pilates for Better Sex: Changes in Sexual Functioning in Healthy Turkish Women After Pilates Exercise

J Sex Marital Ther. 2016 May 18;42(4):302-8. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2015.1033576. Epub 2015 Mar 31.


Although a large number of studies report the impact of daily exercise on many aspects of women's health, none of them address the relationship between Pilates exercise and sexual function prospectively. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Pilates exercise on sexual function in healthy young women using a validated questionnaire. In total, 34 premenopausal healthy Turkish women aged between 20 and 50 years who had regular menstrual cycles and sexual relationships were included in the study. Women were asked to complete Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaires. Questionnaires were completed before and after 12 weeks of Pilates exercise. Primary endpoints were changes in total and individual domain scores on the FSFI and BDI. After the 12-week Pilates intervention, BDI scores were decreased and all domains of the FSFI were significantly improved with mean ± SD total FSFI scores increasing from 25.9 ± 7.4 to 32.2 ± 3.6 (p <.0001). This is the first prospective study that quantifies the improvement in sexual function of healthy women after a 12-week Pilates program. Our findings suggest that Pilates may improve sexual function in healthy women. However, further studies with a larger sample size are needed in this field.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Movement Techniques*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Libido / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / prevention & control
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult