Can women without visible pubococcygeal muscle in MR images still increase urethral closure pressures?

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The purpose of this study was to determine if the ability to increase maximum urethral closure pressure (MUCP) with a pelvic muscle contraction is impaired in women without pubococcygeal muscle (PCM).

Study design

This was a cross-sectional study of continent women comparing those with (n = 28) and those without (n = 17) PCM as identified by MR scans. A pelvic muscle contraction was performed simultaneously with recordings of urethral and bladder pressures.


Eighty-six percent of the women with PCM compared with 41% of the women without could volitionally increase (> 5 cm H2O) their MUCP. Those with PCM generated a mean intraurethral pressure rise of 14.0 (10.8) cm H2O, compared with 6.2 (8.7) cm H2O in those without (P = .015). Among women who could produce a visible pressure rise, there was not a statistically significant difference between groups (with PCM = 17.2 [7.8] cm H2O; without PCM = 14.7 [7.5] cm H2O; P = .457).


Selective women without visible PCM can increase MUCP.

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