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Pelvic Health Education

What are Pelvic Floor Disorders?

Susan Clinton
Susan ClintonPublished on December 20, 2022

A Pelvic Floor Disorder (PFD) is a weakening or injury of the pelvic muscles and connective tissue of the pelvis. These conditions are more likely to occur in aging women. They include urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence, and vaginal prolapse. In some cases, the symptoms of PFDs can be treated without surgery. However, many women require surgical repair of their pelvic floor.

For many women, pelvic floor disorders are caused by childbirth. But there are also several conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those associated with childbirth, including stress, urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, anal fissures, pelvic organ prolapse, rectal prolapse, fecal incontinence, and sexual pain disorder.

However, there are many different treatments you can use to treat a pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, prolapse, constipation, and sexual pain disorders. Many women choose to try conservative therapies first because they want to avoid invasive procedures like surgery. However, some women find that conservative therapies don't work well enough to help them feel better. If you're one of those women, it might make sense to consider surgical interventions.

A thorough history and physical examination are essential to diagnosing pelvic floor disorders. A detailed review of symptoms, including frequency, duration, location, intensity, associated pain, and quality of life issues, is important. In addition, it is helpful to know what type of activities cause discomfort, whether there is a pattern of worsening or improving symptoms, and if there are changes in bowel habits. An accurate diagnosis requires a careful assessment of the patient’s medical history and physical findings.

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