Pelvic Floor Disorders: What You Need to Know

Jun 262014
 

Pelvic Floor DisordersWhat are pelvic floor disorders?

Pelvic floor disorders can occur when the pelvic floor is weakened by carrying excess weight from pregnancy or obesity, damaged during childbirth, or affected by medical conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke. Also as we age and go through menopause the hormonal changes result in loss of muscle tone which also affects the pelvic floor strength.

The three most common pelvic floor disorders are:

 

Urinary incontinence – also known as bladder leaks, is the involuntary leakage of urine.

Fecal incontinence – also known as bowel control problems, is the accidental passing of solid or liquid stool from the rectum.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse – is when the one of more of the pelvic organs (e.g. vagina, bladder, rectum, or uterus) bulge into or even outside the vaginal canal or anus.

How do I know if I have a weak pelvic floor?

There are a number of signs of a weak pelvic floor. These include:

  • Leaks when you cough, laugh, or sneeze
  • Not being able to always reach the bathroom on time
  • Feeling a pressure or a bulge in your pelvis
  • Reduction in sexual satisfaction or even absence of orgasm.

Who can I talk to about pelvic floor disorders?

If you are worried that you are suffering from any symptoms of a weak pelvic floor or a pelvic floor disorder, we urge you to talk to your doctor. Many people don’t feel comfortable talking about pelvic floor disorders; in the case of urinary incontinence, the average woman waits up to 8 years before she tells anyone about her leaking. But pelvic floor disorders are very common and not something to be embarrassed about. Your health care professional will see many patients suffering from the same issue on a daily basis. And most importantly these disorders can be successfully treated, particularly with early intervention.

What treatment options are available for pelvic floor disorders?

If you have been diagnosed with a pelvic floor disorder, your doctor may offer different treatments. For some people, especially in the case of pelvic organ prolapse, surgery may be necessary. But for urinary and fecal incontinence, treatment may include medications or simple exercises for the pelvic floor commonly called Kegel exercises. These are simple contract and release exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. For most pelvic floor disorders, if caught early, Kegel exercises can completely resolve or at least greatly improve the symptoms. Your doctor can help you to locate the correct muscles to exercise. Exercise aids such as weighted Kegel exercisers add resistance to your exercise, allowing you to strengthen your pelvic muscles more effectively.

In the following video, Intimina Medical Advisory Board Member Dr. Laurie Bailey Birkholz discusses how you can tell if you have a weakened pelvic floor and ways you can both prevent and treat pelvic floor disorders.

Pelvic floor health is vital for both your physical and emotional wellbeing. As you can see, pelvic floor disorders are treatable and the sooner you talk to a healthcare practitioner and start early intervention, the easier these disorders can be resolved.

 

Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

What Is The Pelvic Floor and What Does It Do?

What is the pelvic floor? The pelvic floor is the group of muscles extending from the front of the pelvis to the coccyx at the back. Imagine them like a hammock holding up the organs (the bladder, bowel, and uterus) inside the pelvis. The pelvic floor has holes for passages to pass through. In women, [...]

Read more »

Protect Your Pelvic Floor During Exercise

9 Simple Ways to Protect Your Pelvic Floor During Exercise

We’re big fans of staying fit and healthy, but it’s important to make sure your fitness routine is safe for every part of your body – including your pelvic floor muscles. Some exercises put increased downward pressure on your pelvic floor, which can weaken the muscles and connective tissues there.  Your pelvic floor supports your [...]

Read more »

Kegel Exercises: The Essential Workout for Every Woman

Kegel Exercises: The Essential Workout for Every Woman

None of us wants to feel any less than our best. Staying active, eating well and leading a varied lifestyle are all ways of keeping in great condition; however, research indicates that there is one crucial area of our bodies that we often neglect. As with all muscles, the pelvic floor muscles require regular exercise [...]

Read more »

Talk to your doctor about problems with leaks

Talking to Your Doctor About Bladder Problems

One in three women in the US suffers from incontinence. Often women are either too embarrassed to seek help for their leakage or believe it’s just a part of aging. However, each of the four types of incontinence can be treated or managed either on your own or with the help of a doctor. Talking [...]

Read more »

  • Sign Up. It's Rewarding!
  • Join our newsletter list today.
  • Enjoy 10% off your first order.
  • *Email address
  • *Birthday
  • *Required field
     For first-time subscribers only. Terms & Conditions