The Experiences of Women who Live with Pelvic Floor Disorders: A Qualitative Study

Document Type: Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran;

2 Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran;

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran;

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) are common and complicated problems that occur in
women with different ages and cultural backgrounds and affect various dimensions of their life.
Because of the dearth of information about how the Iranian women manage these disorders, this study
was conducted to explore the experiences of women who live with PFDs.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted between 2018 -2019 on women who referred to the
clinics of Mashhad educational hospitals . 25 deep and semi-structured interview with 22 patients
with PFDs was done. They were recruited through a purposive sampling method among women with
diagnosis of PFDs. Data were analyzed using conventional content analysis adopted by Graneheim and
Lundman and organized using the MAXQDA software (Ver.10).
Results: The analysis of the data led to the emergence of a theme of “Acceptance and Tolerance”,
including four categories: “Trying to adopt sexual conflicts”, “ Concealing the disease”, “Trying to
modify the lifestyle”, and “Controlling negative emotions”, and 15 sub-categories.
Conclusion: This study provides an insight into self-management strategies for different aspects of
challenges faced by women with PFDs.They try to resolve, conceal, modify, and control some issues to
accept and tolerate their disease. By identifying self-management strategies, care providers can design
and implement counseling, educating and supporting interventions, and also a program through which
the patients help and guide each other.


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