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Sex Med Rev. 2017 Jul;5(3):295-322. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Physical Therapy Modalities in Women With Provoked Vestibulodynia.

Author information

1
School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke; Research Center, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), Sherbrooke, QC, Canada. Electronic address: melanie.m.morin@usherbrooke.ca.
2
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke; Research Center, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS), Sherbrooke, QC, Canada.
3
Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Pelvic floor muscle physical therapy is recommended in clinical guidelines for women with provoked vestibulodynia (PVD). Including isolated or combined treatment modalities, physical therapy is viewed as an effective first-line intervention, yet no systematic review concerning the effectiveness of physical therapy has been conducted.

AIM:

To systematically appraise the current literature on the effectiveness of physical therapy modalities for decreasing pain during intercourse and improving sexual function in women with PVD.

METHODS:

A systematic literature search using PubMed, Scopus, CINHAL, and PEDro was conducted until October 2016. Moreover, a manual search from reference lists of included articles was performed. Ongoing trials also were reviewed using clinicaltrial.gov and ISRCTNregistry. Randomized controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohorts, and case reports evaluating the effect of isolated or combined physical therapy modalities in women with PVD were included in the review.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Main outcome measures were pain during intercourse, sexual function, and patient's perceived improvement.

RESULTS:

The literature search resulted in 43 eligible studies including 7 randomized controlled trials, 20 prospective studies, 5 retrospective studies, 6 case reports, and 6 study protocols. Most studies had a high risk of bias mainly associated with the lack of a comparison group. Another common bias was related to insufficient sample size, non-validated outcomes, non-standardized intervention, and use of other ongoing treatment. The vast majority of studies showed that physical therapy modalities such as biofeedback, dilators, electrical stimulation, education, multimodal physical therapy, and multidisciplinary approaches were effective for decreasing pain during intercourse and improving sexual function.

CONCLUSION:

The positive findings for the effectiveness of physical therapy modalities in women with PVD should be investigated further in robust and well-designed randomized controlled trials. Morin M, Carroll M-S, Bergeron S. Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Physical Therapy Modalities in Women With Provoked Vestibulodynia. Sex Med Rev 2017;5:295-322.

KEYWORDS:

Dyspareunia; Genito-Pelvic Pain; Pelvic Floor; Physical Therapy Modalities; Provoked Vestibulodynia; Rehabilitation; Vulvodynia

PMID:
28363763
DOI:
10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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