BACKGROUND: Quality of life among women with irritable bowel syndrome may be affected by pelvic floor disorders. AIM: To assess the association of self-reported irritable bowel syndrome with urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual function and quality of life. METHODS: We analysed data from the Reproductive Risks for Incontinence Study at Kaiser Permanente, a random population-based study of 2109 racially diverse women (mean age = 56). Multivariate analyses assessed the association of irritable bowel syndrome with pelvic floor disorders and quality of life. RESULTS: The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome was 9.7% (n = 204). Women with irritable bowel had higher adjusted odds of reporting symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (OR 2.4; 95% CI, 1.4-4.1) and urinary urgency (OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0-1.9); greater bother from pelvic organ prolapse (OR 4.3; 95% CI, 1.5-11.9) and faecal incontinence (OR 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-3.2); greater lifestyle impact from urinary incontinence (OR 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3-3.8); and worse quality of life (P < 0.01). Women with irritable bowel reported more inability to relax and enjoy sexual activity (OR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.6) and lower ratings for sexual satisfaction (OR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.5), but no difference in sexual frequency, interest or ability to have an orgasm. CONCLUSIONS: Women with irritable bowel are more likely to report symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse and sexual dysfunction, and report lower quality of life.