Pelvic Floor Dysfunction-What-Why-How and Surgery

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction-What-Why-How and Surgery

The pelvic floor is muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, nerves that support the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum to help the pelvic organs stay in place.

The pelvic floor muscles stretch like a muscular trampoline from the tailbone (coccyx) to the pubic bone (front to back) and from one sitting bone to the other sitting bone (side to side). These muscles are normally firm and thick.

It's a part of the body many people don't think about until it starts not doing its job. The good news is that the pelvic floor can be consciously trained, much like our arm, leg or abdominal muscles.

About 10-15% of Canadians suffer from symptoms of overactive bladder. 25-50% of all women will develop some degree of pelvic floor support problem (vaginal prolapse),4 and approximately 19% of all women will undergo surgery for this problem.

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WHAT we experience with pelvic floor dysfunction

A pelvic floor disorder occurs when the pelvic muscles and connective tissue in the pelvis weaken or are injured. It may happen from traumatic injury to the pelvis, overusing the pelvic muscles, pelvic surgery, pregnancy, vaginal delivery of a child or added weight and aging.

WHY - The most common disorders include:

Pelvic Organ Prolapse - when the pelvic muscles and tissue become weak and can no longer hold the organs in place correctly. In uterine prolapse, the uterus can press down on the vagina, causing it to invert, or even to come out through the vaginal opening. In vaginal prolapse, the top of the vagina loses support and can drop through the vaginal opening.

Symptoms may include:

  • A feeling of heaviness or fullness or as if something falling out of the vagina.
  • A pulling or aching or a "bulge" in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely

Urinary Incontinence - when the bladder drops down into the vagina and is not in its proper place.

Symptoms may include:

  • Urinary incontinence is urine (leaking without a woman's control).
  • Urgency to urinate, frequent urination, and painful urination.

Anal Incontinence - when the rectum bulges into or out of the vagina, making it difficult to control the bowels.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating and gas

HOW - Treatments for pelvic floor disorders

Treatments may include diet changes, weight control, and other lifestyle changes. Treatment may also include surgery, medication, and use of a device placed in the vagina called a pessary that helps support the pelvic organs.

Recent NICHD research has found that combining repair surgery with a second surgical procedure can help prevent urinary incontinence later.

Exercises for the pelvic floor muscles like Kegels, help strengthen the muscles around the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum. Treatments for incontinence can also include medication and bladder or bowel control training.

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Are you considering surgery as an option to feel like yourself again?

Pelvic Surgery Success is a one-of-a-kind program that will take you from feeling depressed, anxious, and consumed by fear of surgery to informed, confident and calm so you can put your nagging symptoms behind you and get back to living life with spontaneity and joy!

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More Information

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Exercises & Treatment

We are Here to Help

Our Pelvic Floor Professionals are here to offer help understanding your situation and working together to find a solution. Reach out today.

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