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Physical Exam Evaluation of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction


Purpose of Review

The complex etiologies of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction have led to a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to the evaluation of pelvic pain and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. A pelvic floor examination is an important part of the workup for pelvic floor dysfunction to assess for non-genitourinary causes of urinary symptoms, amongst others. The goal of this article is to describe the physiatric pelvic floor physical exam and how it can be utilized by practitioners to help identify potential pelvic floor dysfunction etiologies. The information gathered on this exam is helpful for the clinician to identify when pelvic floor muscle function is abnormal and may lead to urinary dysfunction.

Recent Findings

Data on physical examination to help diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction remains scarce with only a few articles on this topic in the past few years.


Despite recent articles, there is still no standardized pelvic floor examination to diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction. However, a thorough pelvic floor musculoskeletal examination can help identify muscular dysfunction which may contribute to urologic symptoms or voiding disorders. Future research should be aimed at methods to develop a protocol so that the physical examination can be utilized as a reliable indicator of this issue.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Jaclyn H. Bonder.

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Jaclyn H. Bonder and Tanya DiFrancesco declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Voiding Dysfunction Evaluation

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Bonder, J.H., DiFrancesco, T. Physical Exam Evaluation of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Curr Bladder Dysfunct Rep 17, 69–75 (2022).

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