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In medical terms, the pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles in the pelvic area. These muscles provide support to the organs in the pelvic region, including the bladder, uterus (women), prostate (men) and rectum.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction?
This is a medical condition that is used to refer to a situation when you are unable to control the functioning of the pelvic floor. It means you fail to control the bowel movement. People suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction use these muscles to contract rather than to relax. It is for this reason that they cannot have a bowel movement. They often have an incomplete one.
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
In most of the cases, the exact reason behind this dysfunction is unknown. It is often believed that this condition is caused due to traumatic injuries to the pelvic area. This can happen after an accident and due to complications aroused after vaginal childbirth.
What are the symptoms?
There are several symptoms that are linked to this medical condition. You must visit your doctor if you come across the following signs:
- The feel of having several bowel movements within a short period of time.
- If you feel that you cannot complete a bowel movement.
- When there is constipation pain linked with bowel movements.
- A frequent urge to urinate.
- Painful urination.
- Pain in lower back.
- Continuous pain in pelvic region, genitals, or rectum.
- Pain during intercourse in women
How is pelvic floor dysfunction diagnosed?
It may be diagnosed through a physical examination by the doctor. You will ask several questions to know the case history and find out the cause. You may also be asked to take pelvic muscle control test by placing surface electrodes on the perineum or sacrum. A small device called a perineometer is also used for the same.
What are the best ways for treating pelvic floor dysfunction?
It can be treated without surgery. There are several techniques. Some of these are as follows:
- Biofeedback: It is done with the help of a physical therapist.He uses special sensors to watch and monitor the muscles.
- Medication: A low-dose muscle relaxant is prescribed to treat the same.
- Relaxation techniques: Your therapist may ask you to take up techniques for relaxation such as warm baths, yoga, and exercises.
- Surgery: If your physician finds out that the dysfunction is caused by a rectal prolapse or rectocele, he or she will take up surgery.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction results in Urinary Dysfunction. Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It's a common problem thought to affect millions of people. There are several types of urinary incontinence, including:
- Stress Incontinence – when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh
- Urge Incontinence – when urine leaks as you feel a sudden, intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards
- Overflow Incontinence (chronic urinary retention) – when you're unable to fully empty your bladder, which causes frequent leaking
- Total Incontinence – when your bladder can't store any urine at all, which causes you to pass urine constantly or have frequent leaking
It's also possible to have a mixture of both stress and urge urinary incontinence.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which structures such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself may begin to prolapse, or fall, out of their normal positions. Without medical treatment or surgery, these structures may eventually fall farther into the vagina or even through the vaginal opening if their supports weaken enough. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an urologist and ask a free question.