New Public Awareness Campaign Launched to Promote Awareness of Pelvic Floor Disorders and Treatment Options for Women These Disorders Affect Nearly 30 Million American Women; New Research Shows High Prevalence of Patients Not Understanding Their Treatment Options
NATICK, Mass., Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) is a founding member of the Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFD) Alliance, a first-of-its-kind partnership formed to raise awareness of Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFDs) and help improve the quality of life for women with PFD through education and access to a wide variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment options. The alliance includes leaders in medical device, pharmaceutical and urogynecological industries, physicians and societies.
The lack of awareness and stigma surrounding PFDs led to the development of the PFD Alliance and a new public awareness campaign called, "Break Free Today from PFDs." The campaign intends to help women understand the facts about PFDs and empower them with information to talk with their doctors about treatment options that can lead to improved quality of life. The campaign will reach patients through local outreach events and online at www.voicesforpfd.org/breakfree.
"Pelvic Floor Disorders are very common, yet women often avoid the topic for a variety of reasons," said Karen Noblett, M.D., professor and division director for urogynecology at the University of California, Irvine. "Pelvic Floor Disorders can impact various aspects of life, everything from exercise and travel to confidence and sexual intimacy, but women should not be embarrassed or feel like they just have to live with it. Instead, we want to empower women to speak up with confidence."
New research by the PFD Alliance shows that 90 percent of Americans underestimate or are unsure about the prevalence of PFDs, which currently impacts an estimated 28 million women in the United States alone. This suggests women don't seek treatment for PFDs. The research further indicates that nearly 40 percent of women in the United States would manage a PFD with over-the-counter supplies, such as pads, or wait until they are uncomfortable enough to seek treatment. Although many minimally invasive procedures are available to correct PFDs, only one in five women reports she would undergo a surgical procedure to correct a PFD.
Pelvic Floor Disorders occur when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissues. The following risk factors for PFDs include:
Genetic and Life-Stage Risk Factors
- AGE: The strength of the pelvic floor deteriorates as women age, possibly leading to the development of PFDs, which include pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.
- RACE: Caucasian women are more likely than African American and Asian women to develop prolapse.
- PREGNANCY and CHILDBIRTH: Childbirth can contribute to the development of PFDs. Vaginal births double the rate of pelvic floor disorders compared to Cesarean deliveries and women who never gave birth.
- MENOPAUSE: The pelvic floor muscles often weaken during menopause, which can lead to the development of pelvic organ prolapse.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
- OBESITY: Overweight or obese women often lack strength in their pelvic muscles and are at an increased risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.
- SMOKING: Women who smoke increase their risk of developing urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
"Boston Scientific remains committed to advancing quality patient care for women with pelvic floor disorders," said Karen Prange, senior vice president and president, Urology and Women's Health division of Boston Scientific. "Robust patient education tools are the foundation of a meaningful dialogue between a physician and a patient as an individualized treatment plan is developed. We look forward to a continued partnership among PFD Alliance members to ensure that both physicians and patients have access to comprehensive educational resources."
For additional information about the PFD Alliance and events in your community, visit www.voicesforpfd.org/breakfree.
The founding members of the PFD Alliance include Boston Scientific, the American Urogynecologic Society, the Foundation for Female Health Awareness and Merck Consumer Care. Other organizations are expected to join the PFD Alliance later this year and beyond.
About Boston Scientific Women's Health
Boston Scientific Women's Health continues to demonstrate their commitment to physicians and their patients through product innovation, clinical excellence and the development of robust professional programs. They pioneered the creation of the Pelvic Floor Institute which provides physicians an interactive platform to view an array of webcasts, procedural videos, animations and other patient education tools. Also, over 100 educational programs take place every year, to meets physician needs in advancing pelvic floor knowledge. Visit www.pelvic-floor-institute.com for more information.
About Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices that are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. For more information, please visit: www.bostonscientific.com.
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SOURCE Boston Scientific Corporation