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Catherine Bradley

Professor,  OBGyn

Contact Information

Phone: +1 319 356 1534
Email: catherine-bradley@uiowa.edu


AB, Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
MD, Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Internship, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Residency, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Fellowship, Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Hosptial of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
MSc, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MSCE Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


Primary: OBGyn
Secondary: Urology
Secondary: Epidemiology

Centers and Program Affiliations

Research Interests

constipation, defecation disorder, epidemiology, patient-oriented research, pelvic floor disorder, pelvic floor symptom, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence

MeSH Terms from Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Bradley's long range goal is to better understand female pelvic floor disorders, including urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, through patient-oriented and epidemiologic research studies. One of her specific research interests is the study of clinical and research tools used for the diagnosis of urinary incontinence in women. Dr. Bradley has developed a new questionnaire for use in the diagnosis of female urinary incontinence, and demonstrated it had good psychometric characteristics and diagnostic accuracy in its initial tests. She is now conducting further studies to confirm the questionnaire's reliability, diagnostic validity and responsiveness to change in a larger cohort of women. Dr. Bradley is also interested in symptoms, risk factors and the natural history of pelvic floor disorders in women, including defecation dysfunction and pelvic organ prolapse. In a recently completed prospective study in pregnant women, she measured the prevalence of constipation during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and identified risk factors for constipation. She also conducted ancillary analyses of bowel symptoms in women with moderate to severe pelvic organ prolapse, using the dataset from a large multi-center surgical trial. These studies demonstrated that in women with prolapse, the frequency and severity of obstructive bowel symptoms are not associated with increasing levels of prolapse; however, obstructive bowel symptoms as well as other colo-rectal symptoms, significantly improve after surgery for prolapse. Dr. Bradley and co-investigators have also studied epidemiologic characteristics of pelvic organ prolapse in a prospective cohort study of older women. This series of studies has demonstrated that mild levels of prolapse are very common in older, parous women not seeking care for pelvic floor dysfunction, highlighting the need for the development of a more clinically relevant definition of prolapse. She also found that obstructive urinary symptoms and the symptom of feeling a vaginal bulge are associated with increasing levels of prolapse, but no symptoms were helpful in discriminating between women with and without prolapse. Recently, she presented unique longitudinal data on levels of vaginal descent and prolapse in this cohort, which suggested clinically significant progression of mild prolapse is uncommon over a several year period of time, and that prolapse might even regress in a minority of women.

Recent Publications

Show publications
  1. Successful conservative management of a large iatrogenic vesicovaginal fistula after loop electrosurgical excision procedure. Am J Obstet Gynecol 207(3):e4-6, 2012. [PubMed]
  2. Predictors of success and satisfaction of nonsurgical therapy for stress urinary incontinence. Obstet Gynecol 120(1):91-7, 2012. [PubMed]
  3. Urinary incontinence, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder in women veterans. Am J Obstet Gynecol 206(6):502.e1-8, 2012. [PubMed]
  4. Pharmacologic treatment for urgency-predominant urinary incontinence in women diagnosed using a simplified algorithm: a randomized trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol 206(5):444.e1-11, 2012. [PubMed]
  5. Urinary incontinence self-report questions: reproducibility and agreement with bladder diary. Int Urogynecol J 22(12):1565-71, 2011. [PubMed]
  6. The questionnaire for urinary incontinence diagnosis (QUID): validity and responsiveness to change in women undergoing non-surgical therapies for treatment of stress predominant urinary incontinence. Neurourol Urodyn 29(5):727-34, 2010. [PubMed]
  7. Effects of colpocleisis on bowel symptoms among women with severe pelvic organ prolapse. Int Urogynecol J 21(4):461-6, 2010. [PubMed]
  8. Continence pessary compared with behavioral therapy or combined therapy for stress incontinence: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 115(3):609-17, 2010. [PubMed]
  9. Prevalence of vulvar and vaginal symptoms during pregnancy and the puerperium. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 105(3):236-9, 2009. [PubMed]
  10. Magnetic resonance assessment of pelvic anatomy and pelvic floor disorders after childbirth. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 20(2):133-9, 2009. [PubMed]