Pelvic Floor Dysfunction After Childbirth: Occupational Impact and Awareness of Available Treatment

OTJR (Thorofare N J). 2021 Apr;41(2):108-115. doi: 10.1177/1539449220970881. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


Postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) has been identified as a significant public health issue. The study aimed to (a) identify the impact of PFD on parous women's occupations, (b) explore how PFD impacts daily life, and (c) determine the level of awareness regarding availability of PFD treatment. The preliminary study utilized a mixed-methods descriptive design. In total, 255 participants completed the Mothers and Children (MAC) survey, distributed electronically throughout the United States. Results indicated that PFD symptoms limit parous women's occupational performance, specifically sexual activity and exercise. Despite results indicating PFD significantly detracted from participants' daily life, 66.8% of participants reported having no awareness of pelvic floor rehabilitation to address PFD. Findings suggest that further research and increased advocacy within the field of occupational therapy are necessary to increase the awareness of PFD rehabilitation and mitigate the impact on women's lives after childbirth.

Keywords: mixed methods; quality of life; rehabilitation; women.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders*
  • Pelvic Floor*
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires