Can Women Train For Better Sex?
Ready to tighten things up, bolster your libido and experience more intense orgasms this year? Here is a new years resolution you don’t have to change your diet for. That’s right, it’s time to have a talk about Pelvic Floor Muscle Training, and how it can positively affect your sex health.
Dr. Peter Hans PhD, noted in his article published in the Journal Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology, “Pelvic floor function and anatomy is moving from the fringes, to the mainstream of obstetrics and gynecology”. As a woman, I for one am thankful it is. During one of my physical therapy sessions my therapist informed me that our bodies carry stress in our pelvic floor before it settles in to our shoulders. Before I continue, lets take a moment to relax those shoulders. Ah, much better. Your focus may have shifted to your pelvic floor where you may notice a couple kegels beginning to reduce that stress. Kegels are a great pelvic floor stress relief, much as a shoulder massage helps to massage tension away from the shoulders. Unlike the shoulders, kegels help to tighten the vaginal walls and lift the pelvic floor. You know, kegels are just really damn incredible.
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Let us get down to the science. In a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Sex Medicine, 109 participants were randomized in to two groups – 50 women were observed in an intervention group for 6 months of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) and lifestyle advice, and 59 women were randomized to a control group (lifestyle advice only). Over the course of the 6-month trial, the PFMT group was involved in daily exercises such as kegels, pelvic lifts, leg slides and more specialized pelvic exercises.
The results were impressive. Data collected from the participants revealed that 19 (39%) of women in the PFMT group experienced improved sexual function vs. two (5%) in the control group. Specific improvements reported were increased control, strength and awareness of the pelvic floor along with improved self-confidence. But the cherry-on-top of their findings were reports from women experiencing the sensation of a “tighter” vagina, improved libido and improved orgasms (woo-hoo!).
We are seeing much research being conducted on the pelvic floor muscles showing how without breaking a sweat, we can richly benefit from pelvic muscle training exercises –What’s more? Interview data also suggests, so can our partner. (My husband is nodding in the background – ha!).
Ok, but what about you know…ehhermm….women who experience sexual pain during intercourse? This study unveiled that woman who previously noted experiencing sexual pain, reported resolution of pain with intercourse, and heightened sexual gratification was reported from their partners! Better yet participants who described improved sexual function also demonstrated the greatest increases in pelvic floor muscle strength and endurance leading to decrease in even bladder and bowel incontinents – This is HUGE news!
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While there was no reported significant change in the number of women having more frequent sex in the study – we can definitely see that by adding a little PFMT our self confidence and our sexual relationships can be enhanced.
With the sexiest day of the year right around the corner, I aim to focus on the significant findings of PFMT for sex health. However, did you notice that findings also included improved self-confidence? I find this to be a golden nugget buried under a lot of kegels simply because self-confidence determines how much you achieve in life and has a major impact on your happiness. Self-confidence can be defined as your assessment of your own self-worth. This is more or less the same as your self-esteem and truly, who couldn’t use a little more of that in life?
So what do you think, are you ready to see for yourself if PFMT is all that it’s hyped up to be? I believe we have found an amazing way as women, to enrich our exercise routine in a way that women of all ages and from all different backgrounds can benefit from. Whether you are looking to improve your self-confidence, sex heath or just tighten things up – science says yes, to positive outcomes in Pelvic Floor Muscle Training.
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The Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy – The sexual function of women during puerperium: a qualitative study
Journal Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology
The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy – Benefit of Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy
The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Can Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Improve Sexual Function in Women with Pelvic Organ Prolapse? A Randomized Controlled Trial