The blog below was written by Chartered Physiotherapist, Christien Bird.
The popular press might greet you with headlines like: 'For amazing sex, ladies, do your Kegels' or 'train your pelvic floor muscle for amazing orgasms'. It sounds great, sexual experiences are of course more complex than simply 'doing your pelvic floor muscles exercises'. How much pelvic floor muscles training can help, so far the evidence is not clear and knowledge is scant.
However, that doesn't mean that a bouncy, well-coordinated pelvic floor won't help to spice up your love life.
Many women we treat report they are able to reach orgasm easier, and that their orgasms are more powerful, once they start training their pelvic floor muscles.
It is encouraging to see that our trusted NHS is also taking an interest. The NHS site quotes 'Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help stop incontinence, treat prolapse and make sex better too."
There is level 1 (highest level of evidence) that pelvic floor muscle training helps reduce symptoms of incontinence and prolapse. There are a few studies that have looked at the impact of pelvic floor training on women's sexual experience, and results are variable and some show that women may not benefit any more from pelvic floor training than they would from relaxation and mindful attention.
A recent trial looking at the effect of pelvic floor muscle training on sexual function in women with pelvic organ prolapse showed that some women report specific improvements. Reported benefits were:
- Strength and awareness of the pelvic floor
- Improved self-confidence
- Sensation of a 'tighter' vagina
- Improved libido and orgasms
- Resolution of pain with intercourse
- Heightened sexual gratification for partners
Women who described improved sexual function demonstrated the greatest increases in pelvic floor muscle strength. This is definitely the feedback we hear from patients as women's health physiotherapists.
On balance, considering the support your pelvic floor muscles give your pelvic organs as well as maintaining continence, topped by the likely benefit of improved sexual satisfaction, I think makes it altogether a no-brainer: The pelvic floor matters and needs attention!
Where to find Christien:
Website: White Hart Clinic