The pelvic floor muscles are made up of muscles and connective tissues that support your bladder, bowel, and internal reproductive organs. In women, these muscles are designed to contract and relax in order to help you control your bowel movements and urination functions, as well as aid with sexual enjoyment and childbirth. When these muscles are injured or weakened, it can result in incontinence (not being able to control your bladder or bowels), prolapse (the slow collapse of an organ), or certain sexual dysfunction issues.
Pelvic Floor Therapy
Common causes of a weakened pelvic floor include pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, and chronic constipation. Since the majority of women experience at least one of these conditions at some point in their lives, Alliance Urology understands it’s important that you are educated in order to keep those muscles strong.
What Are The Types Of Pelvic Health Conditions?
Pelvic health conditions are classified into several different categories, some of which have similar symptoms and treatments. Types of pelvic floor disorders include:
- Cystocele: Prolapse of the vaginal wall under the bladder
- Rectocele: Prolapse of the vaginal wall between the rectum and vagina
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Prolapse of the uterus and vaginal walls
- Vaginal prolapse after hysterectomy: Vaginal prolapse after surgical operation to remove all or part of the uterus
- Uterine and vaginal prolapse: Pelvic floor muscles no longer provide enough support for the uterus
- Overactive bladder (OAB): A problem with bladder function that causes the sudden need to urinate
- Urinary incontinence: Loss of bladder control
- Stress urinary incontinence: Leakage of urine during moments of physical activity
- Fecal incontinence: The inability to control bowel movements
Other disorders can include interstitial cystitis, painful bladder syndrome, and vaginal fistulas, which are abnormal openings between the vagina and nearby organs.
When Do You Need Pelvic Floor Therapy?
This type of therapy can help those whose pelvic floor muscles are weak or not working correctly. If you experience the following symptoms, you may benefit from pelvic floor therapy:
- Painful urination or the frequent urge to urinate
- Muscle spasms in the pelvis
- Lower back pain
- Constipation or bowel strains
- Pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
For an accurate diagnosis, it is best to make an appointment with your urologist. To identify the specific pelvic issue causing your symptoms, your healthcare provider may suggest one or more diagnostic tests. Some of these may include urinalysis, computerized uroflowmetry, ultrasound, cystoscopy, video urodynamic, or percutaneous nerve evaluation.
What Are The Benefits Of Pelvic Floor Therapy?
If you have been diagnosed with a pelvic floor condition, therapy is a great way to manage your symptoms. A variety of different methods are used to increase pelvic floor muscle control, improve awareness of contraction and relaxation patterns, and decrease pain and symptoms of pelvic dysfunction. Additionally, strengthening your pelvic floor can help with urinary leakage, frequency, urgency, pain, and difficulty starting, stopping, or fully emptying the bladder. If you are looking for a more natural treatment route, therapy can remove the need for medication to treat your condition.
What Are Treatments For Pelvic Floor Therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of a wide range of pelvic disorders. Some exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor include Kegels, heel slides, toe taps, happy baby pose, and diaphragmatic breathing. For more exercises, reach out to Alliance Urology providers today.
At Alliance Urology Specialists, our goal is to provide the highest level of specialized urology care. Our board-certified urologists with advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of female pelvic health conditions. To schedule an appointment, call Alliance Urology Specialists in Greensboro at (336) 274-1114.