Pelvic floor muscle knowledge and relationship with muscle strength in Brazilian women: a cross-sectional study
Introduction and hypothesis
There seems to be little knowledge about pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) in the general population; however, literature confirming this assertion is scarce, especially in developing countries. The present study hypothesized a low level of knowledge about PFMs in a sample of Brazilian women and a positive relationship between that knowledge and the ability to contract the PFMs, strength, and urinary continence.
This was a cross-sectional study including 133 women. A questionnaire assessing knowledge about PFMs and the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form (ICIQ-UI-SF) were applied. Vaginal palpation and manometry were used to assess PFM condition. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to test the association between PFM knowledge and continuous variables, and Fisher’s exact test was used to compare the women’s PFM knowledge with the categorical variables.
A low level of PFM knowledge was observed in this sample, with a mean total score of 0.48 (±0.97). Vaginal manometry peak, mean, and duration values were 39.1 cmH2O (±23.7), 25.5 cmH2O (±16.1), and 21.1 s (±20.8) respectively. The ICIQ-UI-SF mean score was 7.1 (± 6.8). There were weak correlations between PFM knowledge and age (r −0.2044/ p = 0.01), and parity (r −0.19568/p = 0.02). PFM knowledge was higher among women with higher education levels (p = 0.0012) and those who had previously performed PFM training (p <0.001).
The participants showed a low level of PFM knowledge. No relationship between PFM knowledge and ability to contract or prevalence of UI was observed.
KeywordsPelvic floor Muscle function Urinary incontinence
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
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