Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition in which someone loses the ability to control the muscles of their pelvic floor. It can make it nearly impossible for you to correctly relax and coordinate your pelvic floor muscles. Keep an eye out for these pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms and seek treatment if you experience them.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Think of the pelvis as being the home to organs like the bladder, uterus (or prostate in men), and rectum. In this instance, the pelvic floor muscles are the home’s foundation. These muscles act as the support structure keeping everything in place within your body. Here at Alliance Urology, we want to make sure you have accurate information regarding your pelvic floor and pelvic floor dysfunction.

About The Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor muscles add support to several of your organs by wrapping around your pelvic bone. Some of these muscles add more stability by forming a sling around the rectum.

The pelvic organs include:

  • The bladder (the pouch holding your urine).
  • The uterus and vagina (in women).
  • The prostate (in men).
  • The rectum (the area at the end of the large intestine where your body stores solid waste).

Normally, you’re able to go to the bathroom with no problem because your body tightens and relaxes its pelvic floor muscles. This is just like any other muscular action, like tightening your biceps when you lift a heavy box or clenching your fist.

But if you have pelvic floor dysfunction, your body keeps tightening these muscles instead of relaxing them as it should. This tension means you may have:

  • Trouble evacuating (releasing) a bowel movement
  • An incomplete bowel movement
  • Urine or stool that leaks

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Symptoms

If there is something wrong with the function of the pelvic floor muscles, people may experience the following pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms:

  • Urinary issues like painful urination or the urge to urinate
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
  • Constipation or bowel strains
  • Muscle spasms in the pelvis
  • Pressure in the pelvic region or rectum
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse for women

Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The exact cause of pelvic floor dysfunction still requires research, doctors have found a link between the condition and other health issues. These links include:

  • Obesity
  • Childbirth
  • Traumatic injury to the pelvic region
  • Nerve damage
  • Pelvic surgery

Treating Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The goal of treating pelvic floor dysfunction is to relax the pelvic floor muscles to make bowel movements easier and to provide more control. Kegel exercises or similar techniques that require you to contract your muscles will not help this condition. While surgery is an option, there are less invasive treatment options available.

A common treatment for this condition is biofeedback. This technique allows your therapist to monitor how you relax or contract your pelvic muscles through special sensors. After observing your muscle activity, your therapist will tell you how to improve your coordination.

Other treatment options include:

  • Medication: Your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant to help with pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. The relaxants can prevent your muscles from contracting.
  • Self Care: To reduce strain on your pelvic floor muscles, avoid pushing or straining when using the bathroom. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and stretching can also help to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Taking warm baths is another useful technique. Warm water improves blood circulation and relaxes the muscles.
  • Surgery: If your pelvic floor dysfunction is the result of a rectal prolapse, surgery will loosen the affected pelvic organs and cause them to relax.

Alliance Urology Specialists is home to an expert team of urologists that are committed to providing comprehensive care to adults with urologic disorders and pelvic floor dysfunction. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a UTI or another urologic condition, call our office at (336) 274-1114 to make an appointment.