Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in the Female Athlete

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2019 Feb;18(2):49-52. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000563.


Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a term used to describe a variety of disorders involving moderate to severe impairment of the pelvic floor muscles. It can be divided into two broad categories. Relaxing PFD is more common, presenting with urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, or pelvic organ prolapse. Nonrelaxing PFD symptoms include impaired ability to evacuate urine or stool, sexual dysfunction, and pelvic pain. Unfamiliarity with this diagnosis among medical providers along with nonspecific symptoms often lead to a delayed or missed diagnosis for patients. Here, we present the case of a collegiate soccer player with PFD to illustrate the severity of presentation and progression of this disorder. We review the current literature regarding nonrelaxing PFD and all types of PFD in female athletes to raise awareness and recognition of this condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pelvic Floor / physiopathology*
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / complications
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Soccer
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology