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Research

Causes

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What Causes Pelvic Floor Disorders?

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There are many things that can increase your risk of a pelvic floor disorder but one specific cause is not known. Most medical providers agree that a combination of factors throughout a woman’s life lead to pelvic floor disorders and that the factors are different for every woman.

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Lifestyle Factors

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Several lifestyle factors, such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, and low levels of physical activity have been found to increase a woman's risk of being diagnosed with a PFD [1].

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Pregnancy and Childbirth

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The following items related to a woman's reproductive history have been found to be related to her risk of PFDs.

  • Number of Pregnancies
  • Number of Full-Term Pregnancies
  • Vaginal Delivery or C-section
  • Vaginal Delivery with use of Forceps, Suction, or Other Devices
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Other Factors

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Having less education is a significant risk factor for PFD but other social factors, such as income, do not have an effect. Older women are more likely to have a PFD than younger women, though this is probably due to the fact that older women are more likely to have had a greater number of children, the greatest risk factor for PFDs.

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Disability

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Several websites and a textbook found by CROWD staff state that neurological or neuromuscular disorders, may cause PFD [2, 3, 4]. These sources specifically list that spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis can cause PFD. CROWD faculty and staff are currently searching for more information on this topic.

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References

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  1. Vergeldt, T.F., et al., Risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse and its recurrence: a systematic review. Int Urogynecol J, 2015.
  2. Palm, S., It’s Time To Take Pelvic Organ Prolapse Out Of The Closet, in Community Blog: Below Your Belt. 2010, Women's Health Foundation.
  3. Riachi, L.E. Pelvic Organ Prolapse. 2015 July 17, 2015]; Available from: http://www.riachisurgery.com/pelvic_organ_prolapse.htm.
  4. Gamé, X. and R. Hamid, Spinal cord injury, in Pelvic Organ Dysfunction in Neurological Disease: Clinical Management and Rehabilitation, C.J. Fowler, J.N. Panicker, and A. Emmanuel, Editors. 2010, Cambridge University Press: New York. p. 241-254.