ADHD: A Parenting Guide

Understanding Pelvic Floor Dysfunction And Your Treatment Options

Whether you've been recently diagnosed with a pelvic floor dysfunction or you have reason to suspect that something isn't right, you may be wondering where you should go from here. Pelvic floor issues can arise because of many things, including childbirth, chronic diseases, surgical procedures and even repetitive heavy lifting. Here's a look at what you should know about the symptoms that pelvic floor dysfunction can cause as well as the treatments available for it.

Physical Effects of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

When you suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction, you're likely to experience a variety of symptoms. For example, it can lead to trouble with urinary incontinence in many forms. Not only can you suffer from general incontinence, but you could also experience stress incontinence, which only results in leakage during situations that can stress your bladder, like coughing or laughing. Urge incontinence, on the other hand, is also known as overactive bladder because it is marked by the sudden strong need to urinate.

Some women with pelvic floor dysfunction can also experience trouble with urinary frequency, which means going more often than every couple of hours. Nocturia is another common problem in which women wake up several times throughout the night to urinate, too. In some cases, pelvic floor problems can also lead to constipation.

Treatments for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

There are many treatment options available, including some treatments that focus on the incontinence symptoms while other treatments are more targeted to the pelvic floor issues.

  • Pelvic Muscle Exercise - Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help you combat some of the incontinence symptoms. Exercises that focus on this, called Kegel exercises, involve tightening those pelvic floor muscles. Those are the ones you use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the muscles tight for a few seconds, then release. Wait a couple of seconds, then repeat the process. Your doctor will tell you how many times you should do this and how often to do it daily, because the schedule will vary based on your condition.  
  • Bladder Training - You may be advised to go through a bladder training program designed to teach your bladder to anticipate urination on a specific schedule instead of according to urge. This often requires a time commitment, but can be successful.  
  • Surgical Intervention - Sometimes, you need to have surgery to correct a pelvic floor problem. Procedures like neuromodulation can help through stimulation of the bladder nerves. In addition, pelvic floor reconstruction can help you to reinforce those muscles and add support that will help you reduce your symptoms.

For more information, contact Western Branch Center for Women or a similar location.