The muscles of the pelvic floor serve a few unique functions. They are responsible for holding internal organs inside, closing the valves of the bladder and bowels to ensure continence, and for part of sexual function.
When these muscles are weak or loose, leakage of stool or urine results and when they are too tight or they spasm, they cause pain and possible retention of urine or stool. Pelvic floor problems can occur at any age.
Pelvic floor conditions
- Pelvic organ prolapse: relaxation of the bladder, uterus, bowel or rectum into the vaginal canal.
- Pelvic pain: external or internal pain occurring anywhere in the pelvic region.
- Fecal incontinence: unintentional leakage of stool (feces)
- Urinary incontinence: unintentional loss of urine. Urinary leakage can be caused by many things.
At Advanced Women’s Healthcare, patients are evaluated and treated by a physical therapy specialist who has special training in pelvic floor dysfunction.
Treatments may include:
- education about your muscles, ligament and habits
- bladder retraining
- exercises to strengthen or relax the pelvic floor
- simple dietary modifications to stop bladder/bowel irritation
The physical therapist may also use:
- Biofeedback: a painless way to identify & strengthen muscles associated with holding urine.
- exercise or release of other core muscles that assist the pelvic floor.
- electrical stimulation to facilitate good contraction or relaxation of the muscles associated with continence.