Vitamin D protects against pelvic floor disorders, incontinence

May 1, 2010

Approximately one-quarter of all nonpregnant women older than age 20 report having at least 1 pelvic floor disorder; most of these women also have vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL, according to new NHANES findings.

Approximately one-fourth of all nonpregnant women older than 20 years of age report having at least 1 pelvic floor disorder, and most of them have vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL, according to the findings of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The survey found that approximately 82% of the women surveyed had insufficient levels of vitamin D.

Researchers discovered that mean vitamin D levels were significantly lower not only for women reporting at least 1 pelvic floor disorder but also for those with urinary incontinence, regardless of age.

In addition, vitamin D levels that were at least in the normal range were associated with a decreased risk for urinary incontinence in older women (P=.022).

Although increasing vitamin D levels were also associated with a decreased risk for fecal incontinence, the association was not significant.

Badalian SS, Rosenbaum PF. Vitamin D and pelvic floor disorders in women: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115(4):795-803.