Pelvic floor disorders among amateur runners

Shanny Sade, Inbar Naor, Reut Rotem, Lauren Waichenberg, Dana Zilberman Kravits, Adi Y. Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sports and physical activity are known risk factors for pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). The aim of this study is to examine the impact of amateur running on PFD, quality of life (QoL), and sexual function. Methods: Amateur runners were contacted through social media. Their PFD, sexual function, and QoL were evaluated by self-reporting validated questionnaires (PFDI-20, PISQ-12, IIQ-7). They were divided by degree of effort into two categories, 'High effort' and 'Moderate effort'. The differences between the two groups were examined by a Mann–Whitney U Test, T-Test, and Chi-square test. Results: 180 women were included. A high incidence of PFD was found among 'High effort' runners in comparison to 'Moderate effort' runners. In addition, women who scored above the median in the PFDI-20 showed significantly greater impairment in QoL and sexual function. Interestingly, the 'High effort' group reported experiencing higher intensity orgasms compared with women in the 'Moderate effort' group. A correlation was also found between the weekly running distance and the intensity of orgasm experienced (P value = 0.004). Conclusion: 'High effort' runners present a higher incidence of PFD in comparison to 'Moderate effort' runners. Professional pelvic floor muscle training counselling should be considered even for amateur runners. Future interventional physical therapy studies should be carried out in order to investigate preventative strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2223-2228
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2024


  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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