Clinicians and researchers know that our risk for developing pelvic floor disorders, such as urine leakage and prolapse, increases as we age. However, the impact of aging on the pelvic floor is still poorly understood. Our lab will be starting a new study to improve our understanding of age-related changes in the pelvic floor muscles. This work will help with the development of interventions to target the effects of aging and help to manage and treat pelvic floor disorders in older women.
What Will Be Involved?
- Telephone screening to determine your eligibility
- Completion of four short on-line questionnaires (30 minutes)
- Attend an initial pelvic floor muscle assessment involving ultrasound imaging and a custom device to measure your strength at at the McLean Function Measurement Lab, University of Ottawa (1.5 hours)
- Attend a second assessment that will only involve transperineal ultrasound imaging (1 hour)
- Assigned female at birth
- Between 18-40 or 60+ years of age
- You are fluent in English
- You are currently pregnant or are less than 12 months post partum
- You experienced premature menopause (i.e., before the age of 40 years), are currently peri-menopausal or are less than 12 months from your last menstrual period
- You experience regular pain with sexual intercourse, tampon insertion or during gynecological examinations
- You have been diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse greater than a stage 2
- You have experienced pelvic trauma or undergone pelvic surgery (e.g., hysterectomy, pelvic organ prolapse correction, gender affirming)
- You have been diagnosed and/or treated for cancer
- You have been diagnosed with a neuromuscular condition (e.g., muscular dystrophy)
If you choose to participate, you will learn about the state of your pelvic floor muscles and you will also be taught how to perform pelvic floor muscle contractions. Participants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis once the study begins recruiting.
Principal Investigator: Olena Klahsen, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa
Supervisor: Dr. Linda McLean, PhD, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa