Carolyn M. Sampselle, PhD, RNC, OGNP, is an assistant professor of parent–child nursing in the School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a NAACOG-certified ObGyn Nurse Practitioner.
PELVIC MUSCLE RELAXATION: Assessment and Management
Version of Record online: 6 JAN 2011
1990 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Nurse-Midwifery
Volume 35, Issue 3, pages 127–132, May-June 1990
How to Cite
Sampselle, C. M. and Brink, C. A. (1990), PELVIC MUSCLE RELAXATION: Assessment and Management. Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 35: 127–132. doi: 10.1016/0091-2182(90)90162-X
- Issue online: 6 JAN 2011
- Version of Record online: 6 JAN 2011
Strong pelvic musculature is important to the health of women because of the role it plays in maintaining urinary continence and in providing support to the pelvic organs. Therefore, assessment for pelvic muscle relaxation and strategies for preventive and therapeutic management are necessary elements of care. This paper discusses several assessment techniques that were tested in research settings but that are readily transferable to clinical care. Research-based recommendations for nurse-midwifery management, with emphasis on effective teaching of pelvic muscle exercise, are made. Pelvic muscle exercise is a noninvasive technique that should be used as the initial treatment of urinary incontinence, before a surgical alternative is tried. Moreover, women with weaker pelvic musculature, who are identified early, can begin a program of preventive exercise that may help to avoid incontinence in later life.