Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and Women's Health Promotion

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2018 Jul;63(4):410-417. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12736. Epub 2018 May 19.


Pelvic floor dysfunction is defined as abnormal function of the pelvic floor and includes conditions that can have significant adverse impacts on a woman's quality of life, including urinary incontinence (stress, urge, and mixed), fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual dysfunction, diastasis recti abdominis, pelvic girdle pain, and chronic pain syndromes. Women's health care providers can screen for, identify, and treat pelvic floor dysfunction. This article examines the case of a woman with multiple pelvic-floor-related problems and presents the evidence for the use of pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) for pregnancy-related pelvic floor dysfunction. PFPT is an evidence-based, low-risk, and minimally invasive intervention, and women's health care providers can counsel women about the role that PFPT may play in the prevention, treatment, and/or management of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Keywords: gynecology; midwifery education; postpartum care; preventive health care; primary care.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Floor / pathology*
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / etiology
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / therapy*
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / etiology
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / therapy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Women's Health