Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Floor

You may never think you have heard of Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFDs), but likely you have and didn’t’ know it.  PFDs are one of the most common problems women face.  In fact, almost 50% of women will have some type of PFDs.  The following are all PFDs:

  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Accidental Bowel Leakage or Fecal Incontinence
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse including cystocele, rectocele, uterovaginal prolapse, enterocele
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Defecatory Dysfunction or difficulty with bowel movements
  • Overactive Bladder

Why is treating PFD important?

PFDs can affect almost every aspect of one’s life. Women often fail to receive appropriate treatment for their condition. As a result, they frequently give up participating in favorite activities, exercise, and travel. Self-esteem and intimacy suffer, and many lapses into depression or are reluctant to leave their homes.  PFDs can also be costly.

Symptoms:

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the vagina, bladder, and rectum like a sling. Tears, damage, trauma, or nerve injury to just one part of this muscle group can cause one or several issues. While the symptoms vary by condition, women can experience the inability to control urination or bowel movements, pain, and prolapse, just to name a few.

Causes:

Increasing age (Including menopause), obesity, and childbirth are common risk factors.  Other risk factors include prior hysterectomy, lung disease, smoking, and radiation.

Diagnosis:

While a history and physical exam by a healthcare provider or very important; sometimes other diagnostic services or tools are needed.  Your healthcare provider might recommend cystoscopy to evaluate your bladder or urethra, or ultrasound and anal manometry to evaluate your anal sphincters and rectum. A urodynamic study may be needed to measure bladder function or a dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the evaluation of the pelvic floor organs.

Treatments:

While treatments are tailored to the symptom and problem identified.  Our program focuses on education to empower women to gain control over their PFDs. Many times women can improve issues by changing diet and behavioral habits. Some may get relief by strengthening the pelvic floor and anal muscles. Sometimes surgery or an outpatient procedure will need to be done for urinary incontinence and prolapse.  Most surgeries and procedures are outpatient and easy to recover from as well as highly successful. 

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