Postpartum Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy and Sexual Functioning

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Authors
Scofield, Lauren
Advisor
Kukulski, Melissa
Burkholder, Stephanie
Editor
Date of Issue
2022
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Citation
Series/Report No.
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Title
Postpartum Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy and Sexual Functioning
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Type
Presentation
Description
Poster Presentation
Abstract
In the United States in 2020, there were 2,462,904 registered vaginal births, which equates to roughly 68% of the births in the U.S. that year (Osterman, 2022). Women experience a combination of physical, hormonal, and psychological changes with vaginal deliveries that impact female sexual functioning. Physical alterations to the pelvic floor muscles that occur during a vaginal delivery, such as hypotonicity and poor healing may have a large influence on postpartum sexual functioning (Pourkhiz, 2017). Pelvic floor muscle therapy (PFMT) is a subspecialty of physiotherapy that can be utilized to increase the strength of the pelvic muscles during the postpartum period and PFMT may be able to be utilized as a first-line therapy for postpartum sexual functioning. The purpose of this evidence-based practice review is to explore the impact of pelvic floor physiotherapy, or PFMT exercises, on sexual functioning in postpartum women, following a vaginal delivery. Nurses or other healthcare providers can use this information to facilitate the delivery of comprehensive education options to postpartum women upon hospital discharge. Inclusion of education about specific PFMT exercises and protocols can be reinforced by nursing staff and may provide a significant improvement to postpartum sexual self-efficacy and sexual functioning.
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Degree Awarded
Semester
Department
Nursing