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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


FRANCESCHET, Joseli; SACOMORI, Cinara  and  CARDOSO, Fernando L.. Strength of pelvic floor muscles and sexual function during pregnancy. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.5, pp.383-389.  Epub Nov 06, 2009. ISSN 1413-3555.

BACKGROUND: Sexual well-being depends on pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) that are strong enough to maintain their function. During pregnancy, both the sexual function and the strength of the PFMs may be altered. OBJECTIVES: to compare the degree of PFM strength and the sexual function of pregnant women in the second and the third trimesters. METHODS: a descriptive, causal-comparative study was carried out with 37 pregnant women in Florianópolis (18 in the second trimester and 19 in the third trimester) with a mean age of 25.22 years (±5.7 years). The instruments used were the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) Questionnaire and the Manual Test of Pelvic Floor Muscle Strength, using the modified Oxford scale to grade strength. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (independent t test, the Mann-Whitney U test, Spearman's correlation) with a significance level of 0.05. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the mean rank values of PFM strength of pregnant women in the second and third trimester (U=150.5; p=0.512). However, the sexual function of the pregnant women in the second trimester of pregnancy was better than that of the women in the third trimester (U=104; p=0.042). In addition, PFM strength had statistically significant correlations with age (ρ=0.320, p=0.041) and with FSFI score (ρ=0.540, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Sexual function decreased significantly from the second to the third trimester while PFM strength did not differ between trimesters.

Keywords : sexual function; pelvic floor; pregnancy.

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