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Risk factors for pelvic floor dysfunction

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Risk factors for pelvic floor dysfunction

Modifiable risk factors

  • A body mass index (BMI) over 25 kg/m2

 

  • Smoking

 

  • Lack of exercise

 

  • Constipation

 

  • Diabetes

Non-modifiable risk factors

  • Age (risk increases with increasing age)

 

  • Family history of urinary incontinence, overactive bladder or faecal incontinence

 

  • Gynaecological cancer and any treatments for this

 

  • Gynaecological surgery (such as a hysterectomy)

 

  • Fibromyalgia

 

  • Chronic respiratory disease and cough (chronic cough may increase the risk of faecal incontinence and flatus incontinence)

Related to pregnancy:

  • Being over 30 years when having a baby

 

  • Having given birth before their current pregnancy

Related to labour:

  • Assisted vaginal birth (forceps or vacuum)

 

  • A vaginal birth when the baby is lying face up (occipito-posterior)

 

  • An active second stage of labour taking more than 1 hour

 

  • Injury to the anal sphincter during birth

Reference:


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