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Pelvic Floor Disorders and Treatment Options

Posted at 7:08 AM, Apr 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-16 10:45:39-04

The pelvic floor in women supports the uterus, bladder, vagina and rectum. Some women experience pelvic floor disorders primarily due to childbirth.

What are pelvic floor disorders?
A pelvic floor disorder occurs when pelvic muscles and ligaments become weak or damaged and cannot support the pelvic organs. There are 3 categories of pelvic floor disorders:
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: when the uterus bladder or rectum drops into the vagina, causing a bulge in the vaginal cavity.
  • Urinary incontinence: leaking urine when you cough and sneeze or laugh
  • Fecal incontinence: weak bowel control
Possible symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder
  • Pain or pressure in the vagina
  • A heavy feeling in the pelvis
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Constipation or pain during bowel movements
  • Tissue bulging from the vagina
Common causes of pelvic floor disorders
In general, pelvic floor disorders are caused by weekend pelvic muscles or ligaments.
  • Childbirth: Most common cause
  • Obesity
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Repeated heavy lifting or straining
Treatment options
  • Weight loss
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Vaginal Pessaries
  • Estrogen if postmenopausal
  • Surgery