The association between amateur running with varying degrees of effort and sexual function among women

Shanny Sade, Inbar Naor, Reut Rotem, Dana Zilberman Kravits, Adi Y. Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and hypothesis: Sports and physical activity are known risk factors for altered pelvic floor function, which may affect sexual activity. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of amateur running on sexual function. Methods: Amateur runners were contacted through social media. Their pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), sexual function and quality of life were evaluated by self-reported validated questionnaires (PFDI-20, PISQ-12, IIQ-7). They were divided by degrees of effort into 'High effort' and 'Moderate effort.' The differences between the two groups were examined by Mann-Whitney U, t and chi-square tests. Results: One hundred eighty amateur runners were included. No significant differences in the sexual function were found between the two groups. The 'High effort' group reported experiencing higher intensity orgasms compared with women in the 'Moderate effort' group, and a correlation was found between the weekly running distance and intensity of orgasm that they experienced (p = 0.004). Conclusions: High effort physical activity may be associated with improved orgasm, which may be explained by better clitoral circulation and better function of the pelvic floor muscles. Clinicians that treat symptoms related to PFD and sexual dysfunction may raise awareness of the advantages of physical activity and pelvic floor muscle training and rehabilitation, which may improve tone and circulation and hence sexual function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1665
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • Running
  • Sexual function
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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