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2022 May 20

Int J Environ Res Public Health



The Association between Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain and Pelvic Floor Muscle Function, Diastasis Recti and Psychological Factors-A Matched Case-Control Study.


Starzec-Proserpio M, Rejano-Campo M, Szymańska A, Szymański J, Baranowska B
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 May 20; 19(10).
PMID: 35627771.


There is uncertainty regarding the association between abdominal morphology, pelvic floor function, and psychological factors in women with postpartum pelvic girdle pain (PGP). The aim of this case-control study was to evaluate the differences between women with and without persistent PGP regarding pelvic floor function, diastasis recti, and psychological factors 6-24 weeks postpartum. Pelvic floor manometry, palpation examination of abdominal muscles, the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form, The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21, and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale were used. The PGP group presented with lower vaginal resting pressure ( < 0.001), more tenderness ( = 0.018) and impaired voluntary activation of pelvic floor muscles ( ≤ 0.001). Women with pain also had more distortion on the level of the anterior abdominal wall ( = 0.001) and more severe diastasis recti ( = 0.046) when compared to pain-free controls. Lower vaginal resting pressure was the strongest factor explaining PGP (OR 0.702, 95%CI 0.502-0.981). There were no differences in terms of the pelvic floor strength, endurance, severity of urinary incontinence and reported distress between the groups. Women with PGP 6-24 weeks postpartum differ in pelvic floor and abdominal muscle function from the pain-free controls. Vaginal resting pressure may be an important factor in pelvic girdle pain shortly postpartum. Further studies are needed to see a trend in changes over time.