Nearly 30 percent of all women will develop a pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime. These disorders can lead to embarrassing problems such as urine leakage, difficulty with bowel control, and sexual dysfunction.
Embarrassment and/or lack of understanding about available treatment options may keep some women from seeking help, however, there is no need to suffer in silence any longer.
What is a pelvic floor disorder?
The pelvic floor is a term used to describe the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that support and control the organs of the pelvis—including the uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum.
When damage to the pelvic floor occurs (due to childbirth, obesity, chronic coughing, repeated heavy lifting or advancing age), the pelvic floor tissues can weaken, which can lead to a pelvic floor disorder.
The most common pelvic floor disorders are:
- Bladder dysfunction: leakage of urine or difficulty emptying the bladder
- Bowel dysfunction: leakage of stool or difficulty emptying the bowels
- Pelvic organ prolapse: dropping of the pelvic organs, which is often indicated by a pulling, aching or "bulging" sensation in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- Female sexual dysfunction: including painful intercourse
Other disorders of the pelvic floor include:
- Recurrent bladder infections
- Bladder pain
- Neurogenic bladder dysfunction (bladder issues associated with neurologic disease)
- Vulvar disorders (including pain, irritation, infections and more)
If not corrected, many of these problems can lead to depression, anxiety, relationship issues or and/or social isolation.
Treatment for pelvic floor disorders
While it may be embarrassing to mention the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction you're experiencing, it's important to know that, with the right care, the majority of these problems can be managed if not corrected all together.
Your healthcare provider is an excellent source of information and can guide you through the right treatment options for you. He or she may recommend options such as medication, physical therapy to help strengthen the pelvic floor or support devices to hold the organs of the pelvis in place.
If surgery is needed, most patients are candidates for a minimally invasive approach, like laparoscopic surgery or surgery performed through the vaginal opening. With minimally invasive and vaginal surgical procedures, hospitalization and recovery times are significantly shortened.
The dedicated team of urogynecologists and pelvic floor specialists of The Christ Hospital Pelvic Floor Center provides advanced treatment options and the support you need to get back to being you again.
Our staff often collaborates with other pelvic floor experts, including urologists, colon and rectal surgeons and physical therapists—all leaders in their field, pioneering new treatment options and delivering exceptional outcomes for pelvic floor patients.
Learn more about our Pelvic Floor Center or call 513-585-4800 to speak to one of our women's health experts about your symptoms.