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ICA at AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting

On July 23-25, ICA staff members attended the annual American Urogynecologic Society/International Urogynecological Association (AUGS/IUGA) Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC, to meet with healthcare providers, advocate for IC patients and learn any new research developments. Here are some of the presented research results:

Triathlete Risk of Pelvic Floor Disorders, Pelvic Girdle Pain and the Female Athlete Triad

Triathlons, as well as many other high-impact sports, have undergone a surge in popularity. However, little research has been done into the prevalence of pelvic health and certain other issues associated with endurance training and events. In a presentation entitled, Triathlete Risk of Pelvic Floor Disorders, Pelvic Girdle Pain and the Female Athlete Triad, a research team from Loyola University Health System, led by Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, reported their findings that female triathletes are at risk for pelvic floor disorders, decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density. Specifically, the study found that one-third of female triathletes report pelvic floor disorder symptoms, such as urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, and female triathletes who have had children have higher rates of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse than those that have not. In addition, eighteen percent of female triathletes have non-disabling pelvic girdle pain, and one in four female triathletes had at least one component of the female athlete triad – a condition characterized by decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density from excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition. More results of this research can be found here:

Self-Reported Physical Activity in Patients with Painful Bladder Syndrome: Effect on Female Sexual Function

Results from research conducted at West Virginia University entitled, Self-Reported Physical Activity in Patients with Painful Bladder Syndrome: Effect on Female Sexual Function, reported that subjects who self-reported high levels of physical activity as measured by the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire exhibited significant improvement in the female sexual function index domains of desire, orgasms, and pain when compared to those with low activity levels. Additionally, Body Mass Index (BMI) between low and high activity levels was significant, specifically, a high BMI related to lower activity and vice versa.

Disparities in Areas of Knowledge of Pelvic Disorders in African-American and Other Women of Color Compared to Caucasian Women

A study overseen at Yale School of Medicine investigated the degree of disparity in areas of knowledge of pelvic disorders in other groups of women as compared to caucasian women. The researchers found that there are significant racial disparities in baseline knowledge among the different groups. They also recommended that targeted, culturally-sensitive education interventions are essential to reducing the personal and economic burdens created by pelvic disorders.

Does Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Enhance Pelvic Floor Muscle Recovery? An Assessor Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial

In this study, researchers in Norway found that the prevalence of pelvic floor muscle defects was reduced from six weeks to six months post-partum in women who did pelvic floor muscle training exercises as compared to those that did not.

Intra-Abdominal pressure changes during activities of daily living. How much is too much?

Researchers at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand found that, contrary to their initial assumptions, lifting does not create as much intra-abdominal pressure as originally thought. However, their data also established that coughing and constipation are the two worst intra-abdominal pressure creators.

The Interaction of Stress and Urgency Urinary Incontinence on Quality of Life

Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts and Geisinger Center for Health Research in Pennsylvania reported their findings that urgency urinary incontinence and stress urinary incontinence have different effects on patient quality of life. In addition, and not surprisingly, they also found that the impact of urgency urinary incontinence on quality of life is greater for more severe symptoms.

Lidocaine Gel Improves Pain Perception in Women During Rigid Office Cystoscopy

Researchers at the Department of Urogynecology, MetroHealth System, in Cleveland, OH found that patients who received two percent Lidocaine gel pre-procedurally had significantly lower pain scores during rigid cystoscopy when compared to those who received plain gel. The results of this small study suggest that because two percent Lidocaine gel may decrease perceived discomfort during the procedure, women undergoing routine office-based rigid cystoscopy would benefit from receiving intra-urethral Lidocaine pre-procedurally.

The Impact of Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery on Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms

In this small sample size study, researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, in Philadelphia, PA, reported that it seems safe to perform pelvic surgery on IC/BPS patients because it does not appear to be associated with any worsening of IC/BPS symptoms. What’s more, pelvic surgery may actually help improve IC/BPS symptoms.