Female pelvic floor muscle tone is more likely to be affected by overactivity, overuse and sedentary behavior, according to a study that suggests women are more likely than men to suffer from the condition.
The findings suggest women may be less likely to benefit from exercise programs because they have weaker pelvic floor muscles, and that women may require more rest periods during activities.
The research is based on data from more than 30,000 women who were interviewed about their pelvic floor function.
The researchers analyzed data from the pelvic floor movement, and physical activity data from people who had taken part in physical activity trials in the past, using the American Physical Therapy Association’s pelvic floor exercise protocol.
Researchers found that the pelvic floors were weaker during more vigorous exercise, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Instead, they found that women’s pelvic floors tended to be stronger during activities that involve more than one leg, such as running, jumping and lifting.
This could indicate a problem with their pelvic floors, said study co-author Dr. Nancy Kline, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Women were more likely, however, to have lower pelvic floor strength during activities such as swimming, cycling, lifting and even gymnastics, the researchers said.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Strength Study Researchers analyzed pelvic floor exercises using the National Pain Report questionnaire, which includes questions about pain, muscle tension and movement patterns, and the pelvic spine, an index of pelvic floor alignment.
Researchers used data from participants who had participated in physical therapy trials and completed a pelvic floor questionnaire, and their pelvic bones.
Researchers looked at the strength of the pelvic muscles, including the lower pelvic girdle and the glutes.
The pelvic floor was not studied because of the limited data available, said Dr. Karen M. Johnson, a professor of pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic.
However, Johnson said the study does support the theory that women with pelvic floor disorders are more prone to injuries and problems with their lower pelvic area.
Pelvis Pain Studies have found that pelvic floor pain can be caused by stress on the pelvic organs, said Kline.
A study published in March in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that in women who had chronic pelvic pain, the pelvic bones, which are found in the back of the pelvis, had less muscle strength than the gluteal muscles.
Women also had less strength in the lower pelvis compared to men.
But, a study published last month in the journal Neurology found that female pelvic floor disorder was not associated with pain and disability.
Pelvises are also vulnerable to injuries, such, if a woman falls or hits her head on a hard surface or a wall.
Pain and Disability The findings of the Mayo study do not mean that pelvic disorders are not harmful, Johnson noted.
The Mayo study found that a woman with chronic pelvic disorder had a lower risk of injury than a woman without the disorder.
But researchers are not yet sure why the pelvic disorders may be associated with higher rates of pain, Johnson added.
The study also did not provide information about women’s levels of physical activity or physical activity levels.
The team, which included researchers from the Mayo Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, looked at data from a nationally representative sample of 4,056 adults.
The participants had completed the Pain and Health Questionnaire and the Pregnancy Questionnaire, which asked about the number of minutes of physical exercise each week, as well as the duration of physical activities each week.
The Pregnancy and Child Health Questionnaires asked about health and medical issues, including pregnancy, childbirth and birth control use.
Researchers did not examine activity levels or physical activities.
Women who were physically active reported significantly higher levels of activity than women who did not engage in physical activities, and women who participated in more activities had lower levels of pain and physical disability.
They also reported lower rates of fatigue and lower rates for urinary tract infections, diabetes and hypertension.
“It’s not surprising that women who engage in activities that may have benefits for their pelvic health and health care are also the ones who have lower rates and higher levels,” said Johnson.
“Women should be encouraged to exercise and be active, not discouraged,” Johnson added, adding that this may be because pelvic floor health disorders may affect the balance of hormones in the body.
“The pelvic floor is important for normal functioning of the female body and for the overall health and well-being of women,” Johnson said.