PH-2019 Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Hormone Therapy: Beyond Our Scope or Part of the Big Picture?

Mary Jane “MJ” Strauhal, PT, DPT, BCB-PMD

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Education Session sponsored by the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

With our aging population, the number of women in the United States entering menopause, the marker of biological aging in the female when estrogen levels decline, is higher than ever. Menopausal-related changes in the genitourinary system often interfere with women’s expectations about healthy aging. The relationship between pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) and menopause is understudied. There is a significant body of knowledge implicating estrogen decline in the pathogenesis of PFD. The structures of the pelvic floor, including the pelvic floor muscles are known to have estrogen receptors and are likely dependent on the presence of estrogens for proper function. The use of hormone therapy (HT) is a controversial topic, so is it within our scope of practice to discuss this topic? Research tells us that medicine has lost a generation of physicians who currently do not have adequate knowledge about HT and how to prescribe it. This session will help the pelvic physical therapist recognize the changes that take place with menopause, as they relate to genitourinary health and be informed of current evidence related to HT, allowing them to educate and advocate regarding possible HT interventions.


MJ Strauhal, PT, DPT, BCB-PMD Clinical Program Lead- Pelvic Health Providence St. Vincent Medical Center Rehabilitation Services Portland, Oregon 97225 MJ Strauhal is a pelvic health physical therapist at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. She has dedicated more than 30 years to developing and implementing therapeutic programs for the special needs of women, and for pelvic floor dysfunction for multiple populations (men, women, and children). She is the author of “Therapeutic Exercise in Obstetrics” in Therapeutic Interventions: Moving Toward Function. She became the first PT to collaborate with the non-profit organization Our Bodies, Ourselves to revise and update content on pelvic organ prolapse and has contributed to pelvic floor content in Goodman and Fuller’s Pathology: Implications for the Physical Therapist. MJ is board certified in Biofeedback for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction (BCB-PMD). Since 2006, she has contributed to the curriculum and has been on faculty for the American Physical Therapy Association Section on Women’s Health Certificate in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP) program. MJ received the Section on Women’s Health 2002 Elizabeth Noble Award for her outstanding contributions to pelvic health physical therapy. She has also received the Section’s CAPP Instructor of the Year and Distinguished Years of Service awards.