Vitamin D for Pelvic Floor Disorders

Vitamin D for Pelvic Floor Disorders

Julian Whitaker, MD

Roughly one in four women suffers from a pelvic floor disorder (PFD), such as pelvic organ prolapse or urinary or fecal incontinence, and a recent study suggests that low levels of vitamin D may be a factor. In an analysis of data that included 1,881 women age 20 and older, researchers reported that each 5 ng/mL increase in vitamin D levels corresponded to a 6 percent decrease in PFDs. This means that a woman with a vitamin D level of 50 ng/mL was 24 percent less likely to suffer from a PFD than a woman who had a level of 30 ng/mL. And the protective effects were even greater among women age 50 and older, where each 5 ng/mL increase in vitamin D was associated with an 8 percent lower risk.

Adequate vitamin D is required for healthy muscle synthesis, so these findings are consistent with the belief that most PFDs are the result of neuromuscular dysfunction.

Recommendation

  • Ladies, continue to do your Kegels, but also take 2,000–5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, aiming for an optimal blood level of 50–80 ng/mL.

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