What Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is described as the inability to properly relax the muscles in the pelvic floor, causing difficulty with passing urine and stools. The pelvic floor is formed by several small muscles and other supports located in the pelvis, around the urethra, vagina and the rectum, and its function is to support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction is associated with a lot of symptoms. Some of the most commonly seen include:
- Frequent and urgent need for a bowel movement
- Straining during bowel movements
- Pain during bowel movement
- Leakage of urine
- Painful urination
- Frequently going to the toilet to pass urine
- Urgent desire to pass urine
- Pain during intercourse
Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The exact cause of pelvic floor dysfunction is not known. Several studies have linked pelvic floor dysfunction to the conditions that weaken the pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissues. However, the following conditions are known to be the contributing factors:
- Vaginal Childbirth
- Traumatic injury to the pelvis
- Pelvic surgery
- Nerve damage
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Treatment
Pelvic floor dysfunction has multiple treatment options, and in most of the cases, it can be successfully treated without the need for surgery. Some of the treatment options include:
This option is the most commonly used to treat this condition and involves the help of a physical therapist. After detecting the muscles abnormalities with some special sensors in the pelvic muscles, your physical therapist will work with you and teach you some special pelvic exercises, in order to improve your pelvic muscles coordination and strength. Biofeedback has proven to provide improvement in more than 75% of people affected by pelvic floor dysfunction.
Some cases of pelvic floor dysfunction might require a muscle relaxant in order to improve the symptoms.
In case you haven’t shown any improvement with the above treatment options, and if the underlying cause of your condition can be solved surgically (rectal, uterine or bladder prolapse and rectocele), your doctor might recommend to you a surgery procedure to solve it.
- Anterior colporrhaphy
- Vaginal hysterectomy
- B0T0X injection to the pelvic floor muscles
- Vaginal tightening