Pelvic Floor Activity and Breathing in Women

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Kitani, Lenore, PT Identifier:
First received: September 24, 2012
Last updated: September 26, 2012
Last verified: September 2012

The pelvic floor and diaphragm work together in many different functions. Two important functions are breathing and continence. The pelvic floor muscles have to lift and squeeze to maintain continence. Breathing, specifically breathing out, makes the pelvic floor lift. The investigators don't know how much the pelvic floor lifts and squeezes during different types of breathing out. The purpose of this study is to measure pelvic floor lift and squeeze during different types of breathing out.

Condition Intervention
Pelvic Floor
Other: Minimum expiration effort
Other: Moderate expiration effort
Other: Maximum expiration effort

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Effect Of Variations In Forced Expiration Effort On Pelvic Floor Activation In Asymptomatic Women

Further study details as provided by Kitani, Lenore, PT:

Enrollment: 18
Study Start Date: February 2012
Study Completion Date: February 2012
Primary Completion Date: February 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Groups/Cohorts Assigned Interventions
Single group: pelvic floor and breathing
This is a single group with repeated measures during variable breathing effort
Other: Minimum expiration effort
Subjects perform a forced expiration at minimum effort
Other: Moderate expiration effort
Subjects perform a forced expiration at moderate effort
Other: Maximum expiration effort
Subjects perform a forced expiration at maximum effort

Detailed Description:

The pelvic floor (PF) activates automatically, both squeezing and lifting, during times of increased intra-abdominal pressure for postural stability and continence. Expiration additionally produces automatic activation of the PF. No study to date has investigated the effects of forced expiration on PF displacement and squeeze pressure. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of variations in forced expiration effort on PF muscles' automatic activation.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 35 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Convenience sample from a University student, faculty and staff population.


Inclusion Criteria:

  • women
  • young (age 18-35)
  • nulliparous
  • pre-menopausal

Exclusion Criteria:

  • pregnancy
  • history of lower back or pelvic pain
  • history of lower back or pelvic surgeries
  • incontinence
  • history of pelvic floor dysfunction
  • diabetes
  • endometriosis
  • neuromuscular disease
  • connective tissue disease
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01694979

United States, Texas
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Clinical Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory
Lubbock, Texas, United States, 79430
Sponsors and Collaborators
Kitani, Lenore, PT
Principal Investigator: Lenore J Kitani, B.S. PT Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  More Information

Talasz H, Kremser C, Kofler M, Kalchschmid E, Lechleitner M, Rudisch A. Phase-locked parallel movement of diaphragm and pelvic floor during breathing and coughing-a dynamic MRI investigation in healthy females. Int Urogynecol J 2011 Jan;22(1):61-68.
Bo K, Kvarstein B, Hagen RR, Larsen S. Pelvic floor muscle exercise for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: II. Validity of vaginal pressure measurements of pelvic floor muscle strength and the necessity of supplementary methods for control of correct contraction. Neurourol Urodyn 1990;9(5):479-487.
Bo K, Constantinou C. Reflex contraction of pelvic floor muscles during cough cannot be measured with vaginal pressure devices. Neurourol Urodyn 2011 Sep;30(7):1404.
Sherburn M, Bird M, Carey M, Bo K, Galea MP. Incontinence improves in older women after intensive pelvic floor muscle training: an assessor-blinded randomized controlled trial. Neurourol Urodyn 2011 Mar;30(3):317-324.

Responsible Party: Kitani, Lenore, PT Identifier: NCT01694979     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: L12-020
Study First Received: September 24, 2012
Last Updated: September 26, 2012
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Kitani, Lenore, PT:
Pelvic floor
Urinary incontinence processed this record on April 26, 2015