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Comprehensive, Nonsurgical Treatment Improves Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Women

January 16, 2014

Julie Starr, a doctoral student in the Sinclair School of Nursing and a family nurse practitioner at the Women’s Health Center, found that using a comprehensive, nonsurgical treatment plan significantly improves symptoms in women with pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), a range of symptoms that include bladder and bowel problems as well as pelvic pain. 

Story by: MU News Bureau

One in three women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), a range of symptoms which include bladder and bowel problems as well as pelvic pain, according to the American Urogynecologic Society. Now, University of Missouri researchers have demonstrated that a comprehensive, nonsurgical treatment significantly improves symptoms in women with PFD.

“Pelvic floor rehabilitation is effective in helping women overcome pelvic floor problems with little or no medication,” said Julie Starr, a doctoral student in the Sinclair School of Nursing and a family nurse practitioner at the University of Missouri Women’s Health Center. “The treatment involves muscle strengthening for improved bladder control and muscle relaxation for those with symptoms of constipation and pelvic pain.”

Starr and other MU researchers analyzed data from nearly 800 women with symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction who underwent therapy for bowel, urinary or pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. The researchers found patients who completed at least five comprehensive pelvic floor rehabilitation therapy sessions reported an average of 80 percent improvement in three main areas: urinary incontinence, defecatory dysfunction and pelvic pain. More…