Dyspareunia and pelvic floor muscle function before and during pregnancy and after childbirth
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
Original versionInternational Urogynecology Journal. 2014, 25, 1227-1235
Introduction and hypothesis: There is limited knowledge on dyspareunia during pregnancy and postpartum and the role of the pelvic floor muscles (PFM) in women with dyspareunia. Aims of the study were to investigate the presence of dyspareunia before and during pregnancy and postpartum, and to compare vaginal resting pressure (VRP), PFM strength, and endurance between women with and those without dyspareunia. It was hypothesized that there is no difference in PFM variables between women with and those without dyspareunia. Methods: Three hundred nulliparous women participated in this prospective cohort and answered questions about dyspareunia and the level of bother at gestational weeks 22 and 37, 6 and 12 months postpartum, and retrospectively prior to their pregnancies using ICIQ-FLUTSsex. PFM variables were assessed by manometer at gestational week 22, and 6 and 12 months postpartum. Comparisons between groups were analyzed using independent samples t test. Results: Twenty-eight and 30 % of the women reported dyspareunia at pre-pregnancy and at gestational week 22 respectively. At gestational week 37, and 6 and 12 months postpartum, the percentages were 40, 45, and 33 respectively. No difference in PFM variables was found between women with and those without dyspareunia. Level of bother was higher postpartum than before and during pregnancy. Conclusions: Symptoms of dyspareunia were common at all time points. No link could be made between PFM function and dyspareunia. Women suffering from dyspareunia postpartum reported it as being bothersome. Our findings suggest that women should be asked about symptoms of dyspareunia related to pregnancy, and that future research should aim for preventative and therapeutic strategies.
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