The Perception of Pelvic Floor Muscle Function amongst Exercising Women Who Are Repeatedly Instructed to Contract Their Pelvic Floor Muscles

Gali Dar, Tamar Sharon Saban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, the self-perception of pelvic floor muscle (PFM) contractions amongst women receiving repeated verbal instructions during exercise classes was examined. The prevalence and severity of urinary stress incontinence were also assessed. This cross-sectional observational study included 46 women (mean age 48 (±8.6)), who regularly participated in Pilates classes where repeated instruction was given to contract PFM (“instruction group”; N = 22) or not (controls, N = 24). PFM function was evaluated using transabdominal ultrasound. Simultaneously, the participant described her personal evaluation of her PFM contraction ability. The International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire–Short Form was also utilized. Most women (80%) correctly contract PFM; however, 95% did not perform a voluntary contraction during leg movement, without differences observed between groups. A higher perception of PFM contraction was found in the “instruction group” when performing knee flexion towards the chest without specific verbal instruction. Women who were instructed to contract their PFM suffered less incontinence and had a lower degree of severity than the controls. Most women performing Pilates exercises correctly contracted their PFM. However, there was no PFM voluntary contraction during leg movement. Exposure to repeated verbal instructions to contract PFM, over time, might lead to an improvement in women’s perception of their ability to contract PFM. Verbal instructions for PFM contraction were found to be effective in reducing urinary incontinence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1768
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • pelvic diaphragm
  • urinary incontinence
  • women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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