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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012 Mar;285(3):709-15. doi: 10.1007/s00404-011-2039-y. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Effects of multidimensional pelvic floor muscle training in healthy young women.

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Department of Internal and Geriatric Medicine, Hochzirl Hospital, 6170 Zirl, Austria.



Cross-sectional and interventional study to assess pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function in healthy young nulliparous women and to determine the effects of a 3-month PFM training program with emphasis on co-contraction of PFM and anterolateral abdominal muscles and on correctly performed coughing patterns.


PFM function was assessed by digital vaginal palpation in 40 volunteers and graded according to the 6-point Oxford grading scale. The PFM training program was comprised theoretical instruction, as well as verbal feedback during hands-on instruction and repeated training sessions focussing on strengthening PFM and anterolateral abdominal muscle co-contraction during forced expiration and coughing.


At baseline, 30 women (75%) were able to perform normal PFM contractions at rest (Oxford scale score ≥ 3); only 4 of them (10%) presented additional involuntary PFM contractions before and during coughing. The remaining 10 women (25%) were unable to perform voluntary or involuntary PFM contractions. Mean Oxford scale score in the whole group was 3.3 ± 1.7. After completing the PFM training program, 29 women (72.5%) performed cough-related PFM contractions and group mean Oxford scale score increased significantly to 4.2 ± 1.0.


The study shows that PFM dysfunction may be detected even in healthy young women. Multidimensional training, however, may significantly improve PFM function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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