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International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 11, pp 1903–1909 | Cite as

Pelvic floor muscle knowledge and relationship with muscle strength in Brazilian women: a cross-sectional study

  • Leticia Maciel de Freitas
  • Kari Bø
  • Ana Carolina Nociti Lopes Fernandes
  • Natalia Uechi
  • Thaiana Bezerra Duarte
  • Cristine Homsi Jorge FerreiraEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusion

The participants showed a low level of PFM knowledge. No relationship between PFM knowledge and ability to contract or prevalence of UI was observed.

Keywords

Pelvic floor Muscle function Urinary incontinence 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation and Functional Performance, Department of Health Science, Ribeirão Preto Medical SchoolUniversity of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Sports Medicine and Akershus University HospitalNorwegian School of Sport SciencesLørenskogNorway
  3. 3.Universidade de São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil

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