Pelvic Floor Fitness Using Lay Instructors

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Typically, pelvic muscle training for women with pelvic floor disorders is provided by medical personnel. We sought to evaluate the feasibility and symptom improvement after a nonmedical pelvic muscle training class in a prospective cohort.


Study participants volunteered to participate in an 11-week pelvic fitness and education class taught by a lay instructor at five fitness classrooms in the Chicago area. Participation was limited to adult women who verbally indicated that their pelvic symptoms included a minimum of some urge urinary symptom. Standardized assessments were completed before class, at the end of class, and 1 year after completion of the classes. These assessments included the 12-item short-form, validated pelvic questionnaires (Urogenital Distress Inventory Short Form, Incontinence Impact Questionnaire Short Form, and Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire), and self-reported goals selection and achievement.


Eighty-seven of 102 participants provided before and after class data, and 76 also provided 1-year data. Participants had a mean age of 58 years and a mean body mass index of 26.3. Most (91%) were white, and 63% had at least completed college. After class improvements in Urogenital Distress Inventory Short Form bothersomeness ratings were noted for all items and maintained at 1 year for all but pain or discomfort. Significant quality-of-life and sexual function improvements were reported after class and at 1 year. The 12-item short-form responses documented improvements in six areas of general health. The most important self-selected goal was achieved in 71% after class and maintained by 67% at 1 year.


Nonmedical pelvic fitness classes are promising for pelvic symptom improvement in self-selected participants.



Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles