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High spatial resolution pressure distribution of the vaginal canal in Pompoir practitioners: A biomechanical approach for assessing the pelvic floor

      Highlights

      • We characterized 3D spatiotemporal pressure distribution of pelvic floor contraction.
      • Pelvic floor coordination training alters vaginal pressure distribution profile.
      • Trained pelvic floor generates more-symmetric pressure distribution along the vagina.
      • Trained pelvic floor shows greater contribution of caudal and cranial vaginal regions.
      • Pelvic floor training results in greater contribution of vaginal latero-lateral planes.

      Abstract

      Background

      Pompoir is a technique poorly studied in the literature that claims to improve pelvic floor strength and coordination. This study aims to investigate the pelvic floor muscles' coordination throughout the vaginal canal among Pompoir practitioners and non-practitioners by describing a high resolution map of pressure distribution.

      Methods

      This cross-sectional, study included 40 healthy women in two groups: control and Pompoir. While these women performed both sustained and “waveform” pelvic floor muscle contractions, the spatiotemporal pressure distribution in their vaginal canals was evaluated by a non-deformable probe fully instrumented with a 10 × 10 matrix of capacitive transducers.

      Findings

      Pompoir group was able to sustain the pressure levels achieved for a longer period (40% longer, moderate effect, P = 0.04). During the “waveform” contraction task, Pompoir group achieved lower, earlier peak pressures (moderate effect, P = 0.05) and decreased rates of contraction (small effect, P = 0.04) and relaxation (large effect, P = 0.01). During both tasks, Pompoir group had smaller relative contributions by the mid-region and the anteroposterior planes and greater contributions by the caudal and cranial regions and the latero-lateral planes.

      Interpretation

      Results suggest that specific coordination training of the pelvic floor muscles alters the pressure distribution profile, promoting a more-symmetric distribution of pressure throughout the vaginal canal. Therefore, this study suggests that pelvic floor muscles can be trained to a degree beyond strengthening by focusing on coordination, which results in changes in symmetry of the spatiotemporal pressure distribution in the vaginal canal.

      Keywords

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