The effect of pelvic floor muscle exercises program on sexual self‑efficacy in primiparous women after delivery

Nahid Golmakani, Zahra Zare, Nayereh Khadem, Hossein Shareh, Mohammad Taghi Shakeri



Background: Selection and acceptance of appropriate sexual behavior and sexual function are made difficult by low sexual self‑efficacy in the postpartum period. The general purpose of this research is to define the effects of an 8‑week pelvic floor muscle exercise program on sexual self‑efficacy in primiparous women after childbirth.

Materials and Methods: This clinical trial was performed on 79 primiparous women who referred to health care centers, Mashhad, Iran in 2013, 8 weeks after delivery, to receive health care services. They were selected by easy sampling. The samples were randomly assigned to either intervention or control group. The intervention group was trained in Kegel exercises for 8 weeks. Both groups were evaluated at 4 and 8 weeks. Data collection tools included: Demographic information, sexual self‑efficacy, and Brink scale. Data were analyzed using repeated measures, Friedman test, t‑test, and Mann–Whitney test.

Results: The results showed significant increase in pelvic floor muscle strength in the intervention group at 4 and 8 weeks after exercises (P < 0.0001), but no significant difference was observed in the control group (P = 0.368). There was a significant increase in sexual self‑efficacy in the intervention (P < 0.0001) and control groups (P = 0.001) at 4 and 8 weeks after the start of the study. Comparison of the two groups showed a significant difference in sexual self‑efficacy after they performed these exercises (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: The findings showed that 8‑week pelvic muscle exercises increase the sexual self‑efficacy in women after delivery.

Key words: Exercises, Iran, pelvic floor, postpartum, self‑efficacy, sexual

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