top of page

Do You Know Your Family Health History?

Hi friends and Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully you will be spending time with loved ones around the table today enjoying delicious food and wonderful company. Thinking about those that you’ll be spending time with today, do you know anything about their health history? For many different medical diagnoses, having an immediate family member with a disease often makes you more at risk to develop that same disease. That’s why today is National Family Health History Day!

While talking about our health history may not be the most exciting discussion, it is important. Many different diseases, like cancer, have a better prognosis and outcome when detected early so that treatment can begin. Knowing your risk level and getting routine screenings is one of the way we can detect these.

So, what does health history have to do with the pelvic floor? Many diseases, or their treatments, can affect the functioning of the pelvic floor muscles and cause pelvic floor dysfunction. When the pelvic floor muscles aren’t working properly, this can lead to issues like:

  • Urinary and/or fecal incontinence

  • Constipation

  • Pelvic pain

  • Pain with sex, tampon use, or a pelvic exam at the doctors

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

Studies have shown that the medical conditions below have a genetic factor—meaning if an immediate family member has been diagnosed, you are more likely to be diagnosed with this condition as well compared with someone who does not a family member with a diagnosis.

To learn more, click on the individual condition to read our blog posts for more details.

So this Thanksgiving, as you spend time with your loved ones, learn about your family health history. Your pelvic floor muscles will thank you later!

To learn more about your pelvic floor muscles, check out these great resources:

  • Learn more about the pelvic floor muscles with our book: My Pelvic Floor Muscles The Basics

  • Watch our YouTube videos to learn more about a specific topic

  • Check out our favorite pelvic health items on Amazon

  • Sign up for our email newsletter!

  • Find a pelvic therapist on your own at We have links to 4 free searchable databases under Find a PT.

For providers, check our online courses to help your clients with pelvic floor dysfunction from the above conditions. Consider joining our Ambassador Program and most of our courses are included with your membership!

Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT


1. Ryan BM et al. An analysis of genetic factors related to risk of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. 2014;38(5):583-90.

2. Vercellini P, Vigano P, Somigliana E, Fedele L. Endometriosis: pathogenesis and treatment. Nat Rev Encorinol. 2014;10(5):261-75.

3. Dork T, Hillemanns P, Tempfer C, Creu J, Fleisch MC. Genetic susceptibility to endometrial cancer: risk factors and clinical management. 2020;12(9);2407.

4. Tunitsky E, Barber MD, Jeppson PC, Nutter B, Jelovsek JE, Ridgeway B. Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis in twin sisters. J Urol. 2012;187(1):148-52.

5. Parsons JK. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and male lower urinary tract symptoms: epidemiology and risk factors. Curr Bladder Dysfunction Rep. 2010;5:212-18.

6. Pernar CH, Ebot EM, Wilson KM, Mucci LA. The epidemiology of prostate cancer. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2018;8(12):a030361.

7. Weintraub AY, Glinter H, Marcus-Braun N. Narrative review of the epidemiology, diagnosis, and pathophysiology of pelvic organ prolapse. Int Brax J Urol. 2020;46(1):5-14.

8. Sirmans S, Pate KA. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Clin Epidemiol. 2014;6:1-13.

9. Brewer HR, Jones ME, Schoemaker MJ, Ashworth A, Swerdlow AJ. Family history and risk of breast cancer: an analysis accounting for family structure. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017;165(1):193-200.

10.Malfait F et al. Classic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. GeneREviews. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle;1993-2001. 2007 May 29 [updated 2018 Jul 26].

25 views0 comments


bottom of page