There is strong evidence that undertaking physical activity and pelvic floor exercise training improves sexual function and urogenital symptoms for women going through the menopause.
A systematic review showed that sexual function was positively correlated to regular physical activity, sexual satisfaction was greater amongst women doing regular physical activity and a strong association between high levels of physical activity and better sexual functioning. The interventions which were included were aerobic exercise, resistance training as well as pelvic floor exercise training (1).
The reviews also showed a significant improvement in vaginal dryness symptoms in menopausal women with increased levels of physical activity (1). There are scant few other reviews or trials reviewing this symptom and the dose, frequency and timing of exercise has not yet been established.
Quality of Evidence
Quality of Evidence: High quality of evidence from RCT’s and systematic reviews
Strength of Recommendation
Strength of Recommendation: Strong – There are consistent results from the evidence and there were no harmful outcomes from the studies.
Physical activity including pelvic floor exercise training has been consistently shown to improve sexual function, sexual satisfaction as well as reduce urogenital symptoms. There is good preliminary evidence that shows physical activity improves vaginal dryness, but further studies are required.
- Carcelén-Fraile MDC, Aibar-Almazán A, Martínez-Amat A, Cruz-Díaz D, Díaz-Mohedo E, Redecillas-Peiró MT, et al. Effects of Physical Exercise on Sexual Function and Quality of Sexual Life Related to Menopausal Symptoms in Peri- and Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(8).