Age effects on pelvic floor symptoms in a cohort of nulliparous patients

Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2012 Nov-Dec;18(6):325-8. doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e3182720255.


Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effects of age on pelvic floor symptoms (PFSs) in nulliparous women.

Methods: Eighty community-dwelling nulliparous women, aged 21 to 70 years, were recruited. Pelvic floor support was assessed with pelvic organ prolapse quantification system. Participants completed the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory 20 and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire 7. Sexual function was assessed with the Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire 12 and health status with the Short-Form Health Survey. The correlation between age and questionnaire scores was evaluated using Pearson coefficient. Logistic regression assessed predictors associated with PFS.

Results: Participants had a median age of 47 years, average body mass index of 28.3 kg/m, and most were white; 52.5% were healthy and 30% were postmenopausal. The most common stage of prolapse was stage I.Age was associated with slightly higher Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20 scores (r = 0.41, P = 0.002), corresponding to more bothersome PFS, and lower Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Function Questionnaire-12 scores, corresponding to worsening sexual function with advancing age (r = -0.41, P = 0.0012). There was no association between age and overall Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire scores (P = 0.12). For symptomatic patients, logistic regression showed age to be associated with increased odds of having PFS [odds ratio (OR), 1.881; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.216-2.91]. Menopausal status was not associated with increased odds of reporting symptoms (OR, 3.05; 95% CI, 0.80-11.62). When age and age by menopause were incorporated in the model, age remained a significant predictor of having PFS (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.13-2.78).

Conclusions: In this population of community-dwelling nulliparous women, age was associated with worsening sexual function and slightly increased odds of reporting symptoms of pelvic floor disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Menopause
  • Parity / physiology*
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult