Explorer Grant (2017 funding round)

Dr Jennifer Kruger
University of Auckland
Transforming women's pelvic floor health
24 months

Lay summary

Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse affect 1 in 4 women. Weak pelvic floor muscles are usually part of the problem. The good news is that a simple training programme can be effective in 70 per cent of women - provided they are done correctly and kept up.

We plan to transform pelvic floor muscle health by using a new intra-vaginal pressure sensor array, which can be worn during daily living or exercise. This pressure sensor array will, for the first time, provide accurate feedback on pelvic floor health, correct exercise technique and assistance with adhering to a training programme, via a smartphone. This research will assess the repeatability and utility of the device, among a group of women who are scheduled for physiotherapy treatment. The results will enable quantification on the progression of the health of the pelvic floor to be assessed, leading to better outcomes, and ultimately reduced health care costs.

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