The GHDB supports research on pelvic floor disorders which encompass pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and other disorders of the lower gynecologic, urinary, and gastrointestinal tracts. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, pelvic floor disorders affect almost one-quarter of women between ages 20 to 80. In light of the aging U.S. population, the number of women with pelvic floor disorders is expected to increase substantially in the future.
This program focuses on the accumulation and analysis of good quality evidence to inform directed methods for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of pelvic floor disorders. Additional interests include the identification of risk factors for the development of pelvic floor disorders, such as genetic predisposition, obstetric history, and the presence co-morbid conditions.
Emphasis is also placed on characterization of the cellular and molecular changes that occur in the lower genital tract. Obstetric fistula and female genital mutilation, areas germane to the international and immigrant communities, are also included in the portfolio.
Studies in this program area are funded through investigator-initiated independent funding mechanisms as well as through the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network (PFDN).