Pelvic-floor function, dysfunction, and treatment

Jörgen Quaghebeur, Peter Petros, Jean Jacques Wyndaele, Stefan De Wachter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The pelvic floor functions as a holistic entity. The organs, bladder, bowel, smooth and striated muscles, nerves, ligaments and other connective tissues are directed cortically and reflexly from various levels of the nervous system. Such holistic integration is essential for the system's multiple functions, for example, pelvic girdle stability, continence, voiding/defecation, and sexuality. Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is related to a variety of pelvic pain syndromes and organ problems of continence and evacuation. Prior to treatment, it is necessary to understand which part(s) of the system may be causing the dysfunction (s) of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), pelvic girdle pain, sexual problems, Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS), dysfunctional voiding, constipation, prolapse and incontinence. The interpretation of pelvic floor biomechanics is complex and involves multiple theories. Non-surgical treatment of PFD requires correct diagnosis and correctly supervised pelvic floor training. The aims of this review are to analyze pelvic function and dysfunction. Because it is a holistic and entirely anatomically based system, we have accorded significant weight to the Integral Theory's explanations of function and dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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