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Predictors Of Improvement In Sexual Function Of Women With Urinary Incontinence After Treatment With Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Secondary Analysis.

C. Sacomori, F. L. Cardoso
Published 2015 · Medicine

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INTRODUCTION Women with urinary incontinence (UI) frequently present with complaints of sexual problems. AIM To evaluate the predictors of sexual function improvement after participating in three physical therapy sessions and performing home-based pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFME) for the treatment of female UI. METHODS This is a secondary analysis of a randomized trial with a 3-month follow-up in which the sexual function of 54 women with UI was evaluated. These women joined three supervised physiotherapy sessions that included PFME and health education during 1 month, with a 15-day interval between each session, and kept practicing home-based PFME for a further 2 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Sexual function was assessed using the Female Sexual Quotient, the pelvic floor muscle strength was measured using the modified Oxford scale, and UI was assessed using the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire. RESULTS The mean of sexual quotient score improved after treatment (P = 0.001). With respect to specific domains of sexual function, improvement was observed only in the questions about sexual desire, arousal/excitement, and orgasm. Before treatment, 18 women (33.3%) were classified as having sexual dysfunction, and after treatment, eight remained with sexual dysfunction and two other joined this category (total of 18.5%). Those women who had sexual dysfunction at baseline experienced a higher level of improvement of the sexual quotient compared with those without sexual dysfunction (P = 0.001, 95% CI = 9.1-31.9). A multivariate linear regression with backward elimination revealed the following predictors of improvement of the sexual quotient: higher parity, higher adherence to PFME, improvement in the strength of PFM, and a decrease in the frequency of urine leakage (R(2)  = 0.497). CONCLUSION PFME was more beneficial with regard to sexual function in those women who presented with sexual dysfunction at baseline.
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