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Effectiveness of physiotherapeutic techniques on females with pain-related sexual dysfunctions: a systematic review

Rojo, B1; Martín-González, AB; Menéndez, H2; Herrero, AJ2; Ferrero, CM2

1: European University Miguel de Cervantes (Valladolid, Spain), Spain; 2: Department of Health Sciences. European University Miguel de Cervantes, Spain; Research Centre on Physical Disability, ASPAYM Castilla y León Foundation, Spain.

Objective: To systematically review the effectiveness of different physiotherapy treatments on the pain and the sexual function in women diagnosed with pathologic sexual pain (PSP).

Material and Methods: The literature search was carried out during May 2017, in the electronic databases of Cochrane, PEDro and Scopus, and the search engines PubMed and Web of Science. Only randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included in the present review. In this sense, the sample of the correspondent study should be composed of adult patients with presence of PSP. Both, application of physiotherapy treatments and measures of at least one key outcome related with sexual pain were used as inclusion criteria too. On the other hand, studies which sample was formed by pregnant women or the PSP was caused by topical disorders were excluded from the review process. If drugs were used as part of the intervention, the articles were also rejected. Subsequently, the methodological quality was evaluated using the PEDro scale. Finally, the sample characteristics, interventions and measurements were analyzed in order to compare the different therapeutic options from the available literature.

Results: Six RCTs were finally included. Four articles were assessed as good (6-8/10) and two as fair (5/10). The main effects of the most habitual physiotherapeutic treatments were revised. The ultrasound therapy and the use of pelvic floor muscle exercises did not produce an enhancement on the outcomes evaluated in female sexual dysfunctions with painful component. However, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and biofeedback alone or in combination with other therapies seems to produce promising results in this field.

Conclusion: After this review, some important differences in the methodological quality have been detected in the selected studies. Therefore, it is necessary to choose carefully the physiotherapy treatment for PSP.

Disclosure:

Work supported by industry: no.

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