Introduction and hypothesis: This study aims to examine the relationship between pelvic floor muscle function (PFMF) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in a general female population. Methods: Cross-sectional study on women aged 45-85 years. Validated questionnaires were used to assess pelvic floor muscle function. POP and PFMF were evaluated with vaginal examination. For statistical analysis chi-squared test for trend and analysis of variance were used. Results: Response rate to the questionnaire was 62.7% (1,869/2,979). No significant differences were found in muscle strength and endurance during voluntary muscle contraction between the POP stages. Women with POP stages I and II were significantly less able to achieve effective involuntary muscle contraction during coughing (38.3% and 37.7%) than women without POP (75.2%). Conclusion: Involuntary contraction of the PFM during coughing (that resulted in stabilization of the perineum) was significantly weaker in the women with POP stage I and II than in the women without POP.

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Keywords Intra-abdominal pressure, Involuntary contraction, Pelvic floor muscle function, Pelvic floor musculature, Pelvic organ prolapse, adult, age distribution, aged, article, controlled study, coughing, cross-sectional study, disease severity, female, gynecological examination, human, major clinical study, muscle function, muscle spasm, muscle strength, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvis floor, population research, priority journal, questionnaire
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Slieker-ten Hove, M.C.P, Pool-Goudzwaard, A.L, Eijkemans, M.J.C, Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M, Burger, C.W, & Vierhout, M.E. (2010). Pelvic floor muscle function in a general population of women with and without pelvic organ prolapse. International Urogynecology Journal: and pelvic floor dysfunction, 21(3), 311–319. doi:10.1007/s00192-009-1037-0