Introduction and hypothesis: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine correlations between pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function and expiratory function in healthy young nulliparous women.
Methods: In 40 volunteers, PFM function was assessed by vaginal palpation. Forced expiration patterns were evaluated visually and by palpation of the suprapubic insertion region of the anterolateral abdominal muscles. Forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory flows (FEF) were determined by spirometry.
Results: Incremental positive correlation was found between voluntary PFM contraction strength and forced expiratory flow at 25%, 50% and 75% (FEF(25%), FEF(50%), FEF(75%)) of the FVC, respectively. Positive correlation was also found between PFM contraction strength and forced expired volume in 1 s (FEV(1)). No correlation was found between PFM contraction strength and FVC or peak expiratory flow (PEF).
Conclusions: Despite some limitations of this study, the observed correlation between PFM contraction strength and forced expiratory flows may serve as theoretical background for a potential role of coordinated abdominal and PFM training in diseases with expiratory flow limitations.