Awareness, Knowledge and Practices of Pakistani Women Towards Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises (PFMES) During Pregnancy
Objective: To assess the awareness, knowledge and practices of Pakistani women towards Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises (PFMEs) during pregnancy.
Methodology: This cross sectional study was conducted in the outpatient department of Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) hospital Islamabad during November, 2017 to January, 2018. A questionnaire proforma included data on demographic profile and then questions about awareness, knowledge and practices of women towards PFMEs during antenatal period. Descriptive statistics and chi-square test was used.
Results: Out of 205 women, only 169 were willing to participate in the study making a response rate of 82.4%. Mean age of the participants was 28 ± 4.7 years. Mean gestational age of the women was 33 ± 3.5 weeks. Majority of the participants were well educated, belonged to a middle socioeconomic class and primiparas. Many participants knew that it is abnormal to leak during pregnancy (52.7%). A significant proportion of women had never heard about PFMEs (91.1%). Educational status had positive correlation with awareness of PFMEs (P=0.019). Amongst those who were aware, internet was the main source of information. Only few knew that these exercises help in prevention of stress urinary incontinence (2.4%) and uterovaginal prolapse(1.8%). Only 3.6% of the participants had ever practiced PFMEs. After providing education, almost all the participants were willing to do these exercises. Those who didn’t intend to do were mostly less educated (P=0.016) and belonged to a lower socioeconomic class (P=0.042).
Conclusion: Awareness and knowledge of PFMEs in Pakistani women is very low though majority are interested to perform them if adequate information given. Education by healthcare professionals is mandatory to promote implementation of PFMEs.
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