Pelvic floor dysfunction is when you are unable to control the muscles in your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor supports organs such as your bladder, uterus in women, Prostate in men, and rectum. This means that when you are unable to control the muscles in your pelvic floor you are unable to have a bowel movement. Read on to find out about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.
What are the causes?
The majority of causes of pelvic floor dysfunction are unknown. Two things that can cause it however are traumatic accidents in the area, or from giving birth naturally.
What are the symptoms?
If you suspect you have pelvic floor dysfunction you should see your doctor. Here are the signs that could mean you suffer from this condition;
- Feeling like you need lots of bowel movements in a short period
- Feeling that you cannot complete a bowel movement
- Being constipated, or straining pain
- A constant need to urinate, sometimes needing to stop and start
- Pain urinating
- Lower back pain
- Pain in genitals, rectum or pelvic region
- Pain during sex (for women)
You could be suffering from something else, so always be sure to see your doctor.
How is it diagnosed?
You will need to see a doctor for a full exam. The exam will start with some questions asked by your doctor. They may include; Have you given birth? Do you have a history of urinary tract infections? Do you have pain with intercourse?
Using their hands, they will then exam you for muscle weakness, muscle knots or muscle spasms. This will allow them to determine your ability to control your pelvic floor muscles. Your doctor may possibly also use electrodes on the perineum, or do a uroflow test.
How is pelvic floor dysfunction treated?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated without surgery in most cases. Some possible treatments for sufferers include;
- Biofeedback. This is the most common treatment for this ailment. This treatment can be done a few different ways and has shown success with 75 percent of sufferers. Plus it is non-painful! A therapist will work with you using sensors to help give feedback and improve on your muscle coordination.
- Medication. Some doctors will prescribe a low dosage of muscle relaxant to help combat pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Relaxation techniques. Some techniques can be used to relax such as hot baths, yoga and and exercising. The kegal exerciser is a great new advanced but discreet pelvic simulator.
- Surgery. Surgery may be necessary if your condition is the result of a prolapse.
As you can see, pelvic floor dysfunction is easily treated with the help of a good doctor/therapist and usually biofeedback. Having this condition can make simple trips a nightmare and visits to family and friends embarrassing. If you suspect you have this condition you must see a doctor, this will help your condition improve and greatly improve your quality of life.