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MultiCare Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery

Pelvic Floor Disorders Fast Facts, Tips and Tools

What Are Pelvic Floor Disorders?

The pelvic floor includes the muscles, connective tissue and ligaments that support a woman’s internal organs (bladder, bowel, uterus, vagina and rectum). The pelvic floor plays an important role in the support and proper function of these organs.

There are many conditions that cause pelvic floor dysfunction, including aging, loss of muscle tone, menopause, multiple vaginal deliveries, obesity, family history, stroke, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.

Common Pelvic Floor Disorders And Their Symptoms

Overactive bladder – the bladder is having spasms and giving abnormal signals to the brain that it is full

  • Urgency to empty the bladder
  • Voiding frequently (eight or more times a day)
  • Getting up more than once at night to use the restroom

Urge incontinence – urinary leakage associated with bladder spasms

  • Urinary leakage associated with urgency
  • The inability to reach the restroom to urinate on time

Stress Incontinence – the urethra (tube you urinate through) is unable to keep urine in the bladder

  • Leakage at the time of an action, such as laughing, coughing, running, jumping

Pelvic organ prolapse – the uterus or vaginal wall have lost their support and are falling into the vaginal canal and out the vaginal opening

  • Feeling a heaviness or pressure in the vaginal area
  • Feeling tissue protruding out of the vaginal opening
  • Difficulty with emptying the bladder
  • Difficulty with emptying the bowels

Helpful Tips For Women With Pelvic Floor Disorders

Overactive bladder/Urge incontinence

  • Don’t run to the restroom with an urge. Instead try to suppress the urgency by performing a Kegel contraction. When the urge subsides, walk to the restroom, you will have more success in staying dry
  • Void more frequently to avoid the bladder getting full enough to trigger a bladder spasm. The bladder has more frequent contractions (spasms), which cause leakage when it is fuller.
  • Avoid drinking more than two liters of fluid a day (64 ounces).
  • Avoid drinking three hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid bladder irritants, such as coffee, spicy foods, citrus, carbonation.
  • Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a urogynecologist

Stress incontinence

  • Perform a Kegel contraction before coughing or sneezing. Hold the contraction during the sneeze
  • Empty your bladder before exercise
  • Perform 30-60 Kegel exercises a day to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor
  • Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a urogynecologist

Prolapsed Uterus or Prolapsed Bladder

  • Perform 30-60 Kegel exercises a day to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor
  • Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a urogynecologist

Evaluation and Treatments

A thorough evaluation with our team will allow an accurate diagnosis of your condition. Most conditions can be treated either surgically or non-surgically. Many of the surgical procedures we perform can be done using minimally invasive techniques, which means smaller incisions, less bleeding and scarring, and faster recovery times. Our team will offer all possible treatment options for your condition so you can choose the treatment that best fits your goals and lifestyle.