If you’re living with a pelvic floor disorder, you’re not alone. Around 1 in 4 women develop a pelvic floor disorder — and wait over six years to get help treating it.* Many pelvic floor disorders have similar symptoms, so it’s important to see a specialist so you can receive the right diagnosis. Once we know exactly what’s going on, your condition and symptoms can be treated effectively.
The pelvic floor is the “hammock” of muscles that supports the organs in your pelvis. Your pelvic floor does a lot of the heavy lifting in your body. It supports your core and keeps everything in place in your body.
The pelvic organs include:
You may be living with symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder without realizing that it’s something you can fix. We’ll work with you to identify, diagnose, and treat:
The most common pelvic floor disorders include urinary and fecal incontinence (lack of bladder and bowel control) and pelvic organ prolapse (when the bladder, uterus, or rectum sag into the vagina and cause a bulge in the vaginal canal).
Incontinence means not being able to control your urine (pee) or stool (poop). It’s not all or nothing. It might mean leaking or dribbling a little bit of urine when you laugh, sneeze, or exercise. Or maybe double-checking your underwear after you pass gas, or wearing absorbent products like a pantiliner or incontinence underwear every day.
Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control and uncontrolled leakage of urine. Some of the kinds of urinary incontinence are called stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overactive bladder.
Fecal incontinence, also called anal incontinence, is when you can’t control your bowel movements. Stool leaks out the rectum at unwanted times.
A pelvic organ prolapse is a vaginal bulge or pressure that happens when one of the organs in your pelvic area shifts out of place from an injury or weakness. A pelvic organ prolapse may involve organs such as your bladder, rectum, bowel, or uterus.
The different types of pelvic organ prolapse are:
Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too tight or tense, which can cause vaginal pain, painful sex, and pain during other activities. This can also make it hard for the muscles in your pelvic floor to relax and work together to empty your bladder or bowel. Learn more about pelvic floor dysfunction.
A pelvic floor disorder occurs when the pelvic muscles and connective tissue are too weak, too tight, or are damaged. Some things that may increase the risk of developing a pelvic floor disorder are:
Tell your OB-GYN or primary care provider if you’re having any of the symptoms above. A urogynecologist, someone who specializes in pelvic floor disorders, can evaluate and diagnose you with the following:
Depending on your symptoms, additional tests may be used to recommend the best treatment to help you.
Some of these more advanced tests are:
We have several nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical treatment options for pelvic floor disorders, such as:
We understand if you’ve been hesitant to mention your symptoms to your provider. It’s a very sensitive, intimate topic that you may feel uncomfortable bringing up. Choosing to receive treatment for a pelvic floor disorder is a big step toward regaining control of your body and your life. We look forward to helping you with:
Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 to request an appointment with an AHN urogynecologist.