What Causes Pelvic Floor Disorders?
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.
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 .
Pregnancy and Childbirth
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
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.
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.
- Vergeldt, T.F., et al., Risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse and its recurrence: a systematic review. Int Urogynecol J, 2015.
- 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.
- Riachi, L.E. Pelvic Organ Prolapse. 2015 July 17, 2015]; Available from: http://www.riachisurgery.com/pelvic_organ_prolapse.htm.
- 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.