Prevalence of diastasis recti abdominis in a urogynecological patient population

Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2007 Mar;18(3):321-8. doi: 10.1007/s00192-006-0143-5. Epub 2006 Jul 26.


A urogynecologist's examination typically includes assessment of the abdominal musculature, including the determination of whether a diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) is present. The purposes of the current study were to examine the (1) prevalence of DRA in a urogynecological population, (2) differences in select characteristics of patients with and without DRA, and (3) relationship of DRA to support-related pelvic floor dysfunction diagnoses. A retrospective chart review was conducted by an independent examiner. Fifty-two percent of the patients examined presented with DRA. Patients with DRA were older, reported higher gravity and parity, and had weaker pelvic floor muscles than patients without DRA. Sixty-six percent of all the patients with DRA had at least one support-related pelvic floor dysfunction (SPFD) diagnosis. There was a relationship between the presence of DRA and the SPFD diagnoses of stress urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Prevalence
  • Rectus Abdominis / pathology*
  • Rectus Abdominis / physiopathology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Prolapse / epidemiology*