Western Sydney University, Australia
Sahar Sobhgol, is a PhD candidate at Western Sydney University, Australia. Her expertise is midwifery and maternal and child health. She is also a lactation consultant. She has experience in research and teaching as well as clinical experience. She has developed intervention in this study and implemented it and the results of this study are about to be published. This study will provide more in-depth information about antenatal care.
Background: There is limited information about the effect of pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFME) on sexual function (SF) during pregnancy and childbirth outcomes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of antenatal PFME on female SF during pregnancy and postpartum and also to investigate the effect of PFMEs on childbirth outcomes.
Methods/design: This is a randomised controlled trial. Eligible women who are less than 22 weeks’ gestation were recruited from the antenatal clinics of one hospital located in Western Sydney, Australia. A sample of 200 primiparous pregnant women who meet the inclusion criteria were randomised to either control or intervention groups. The duration of the PFME programme was from approximately 20 weeks’ gestation until birth. Data regarding SF symptoms and childbirth outcomes were collected via questionnaires.
Discussion: The findings of this study provide more information on whether antenatal PFME has any effect on female SF and childbirth outcomes. This study has been completed and the results are being processed. The initial assessment has showed that antenatal PFMEs should be part of antenatal care. More research is needed in this area.
Key words: Pelvic floor muscle exercise, Female sexual function, Childbirth, Randomised controlled trial