Prevalence and Awareness of Pelvic Floor Disorders in Female Adolescents Seeking Gynecologic Care

Academic Article


  • Study Objective: To determine the prevalence and awareness of pelvic floor disorder symptoms among female adolescents. Design: Cross-sectional study via a written, anonymous survey of adolescents. The survey was composed of validated measures for determination of symptom prevalence. Setting: Pediatric and adolescent gynecology clinic in the southeast United States. Participants: Female adolescents ages 14-21 years. Interventions: None. Main Outcome Measures: We used χ2 analyses for categorical variables and t test for continuous variables. Results: Two hundred sixteen questionnaires were completed. The mean age of respondents was 17.1 (±2.1) years and most respondents had at least heard about urinary (UI) and fecal incontinence (FI; 62.9%). The prevalence of any UI was 31.5%. Urgency UI (UUI) was reported by 15.7% and stress UI was reported by 6.9% of adolescents; 8.8% of participants experienced UUI and stress UI symptoms. FI and pelvic organ prolapse symptoms were reported by 0.9%. There were no differences in reported prevalence rates of UI (31.7% vs 27.9%), FI (1.4% vs 0%), or pelvic organ prolapse (1.4% vs 0%) between younger (14-17 years) and older (18-21 years) adolescent participants, respectively (all P >.05). Although UI was fairly prevalent among respondents, most stated that it had a minimal effect on daily living. Conclusion: UI symptoms were common among female adolescents, with UUI being the most reported. Early education regarding pelvic floor disorder symptoms might lead to prevention or empowerment to seek treatment as adolescents age.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Arbuckle JL; Parden AM; Hoover K; Griffin RL; Richter HE
  • Start Page

  • 288
  • End Page

  • 292
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 3