Apr 12

Pelvic floor health – Prolapse and Vitamin D levels

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Pelvic floor health is a critical part of overall health in women, yet it’s often overlooked or misunderstood. From supporting organ function to maintaining continence and sexual function, the pelvic floor plays a vital role in daily life.

I am always advocating for the fact that the conversation around pelvic floor health needs to be wider and look at many factors alongside ‘strengthening the pelvic floor’ that is so often the go to approach when women are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction.

Emerging research  suggests that vitamin D, sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin,” may hold significant implications for pelvic floor health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the link between vitamin D and pelvic floor function, and how this can be used as part of a full body approach to pelvic floor health.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada titled “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with pelvic floor symptoms including pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence” offers valuable insights into the relationship between vitamin D status and pelvic floor health. Conducted by researchers, this study aimed to investigate whether vitamin D deficiency is linked to pelvic floor symptoms, including pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and urinary incontinence (UI).

Key Findings

The study’s findings shed light on the potential impact of vitamin D deficiency on pelvic floor function. Here are some key discoveries:

Association with Pelvic Floor Symptoms

Researchers observed a significant association between vitamin D deficiency and pelvic floor symptoms, particularly pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Women with inadequate vitamin D levels were more likely to experience these distressing pelvic floor disorders compared to those with sufficient vitamin D levels.

Mechanisms Underlying the Association

While the precise mechanisms underlying the link between vitamin D deficiency and pelvic floor symptoms need further investigation, researchers are considering several potential pathways. Vitamin D receptors are present in pelvic floor muscles – vitamin D has a role in muscle function and integrity. Also, vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in chronic inflammation and collagen degradation, which are implicated in pelvic floor disorders such as POP. Once again, this shows how lifestyle management and a holistic approach is vital when it comes to addressing pelvic floor dysfunction.

Implications for Clinical Practice

Hopefully those who specialise in working with pelvic floor function will be encouraged to look at pelvic floor health as more of a holistic issue and stop the ‘one size fits all’ approach that is so often taken. This new research should mean that anyone with pelvic floor issues is tested for vitamin D status and advised to supplement where needed.

Importance of Sunlight Exposure and Diet

Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin upon exposure to sunlight and can also be obtained from dietary sources such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and supplements. Encouraging adequate sunlight exposure and dietary intake of vitamin D may contribute to maintaining optimal pelvic floor health and reducing the risk of pelvic floor disorders. For those of us in the UK it is generally known that it is very difficult to get adequate sunlight in the winter months so supplementation is often advised by nutritional therapists during the winter months.


Pelvic floor health is integral to overall well-being, and emerging research suggests that vitamin D plays a significant role in supporting pelvic floor function. The study highlights the association between vitamin D deficiency and pelvic floor symptoms, underscoring the importance of adequate vitamin D status for optimal pelvic floor health and emphasising the fact that pelvic floor health is a holistic issue and not something that can only be addressed by doing more ‘kegels’.

By raising awareness of the link between vitamin D and pelvic floor health and advocating for proactive measures such as sunlight exposure and dietary supplementation, we can empower people to take proactive steps toward maintaining a healthy pelvic floor and overall quality of life.

If you are interested in improving your pelvic floor health with exercise too, you may be interested in The Pelvic Floor Project monthly membership or one of Every Mum Pilates classes in St Albans.

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