Women from all walks of life can suffer from disruptive symptoms secondary to pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvis encircles multiple vital structures in women, such as the uterus, bladder and rectum. The muscles that support these structures are known as the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor can become weakened from childbirth, obesity and even the natural aging process. Several problems may arise from pelvic floor weakening, such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. When the pelvic floor is hypertonic, or too tense, pelvic pain or painful intercourse may occur as well. We refer to this as pelvic floor dysfunction.
While surgery may be necessary to correct pelvic floor dysfunction, the problem can often be addressed with pelvic floor rehabilitation. This form of rehabilitation is non-surgical, safe, and “trains” women with pelvic floor dysfunction to strengthen or relax the muscles in the pelvic area.
In addition to surgical management, Dr. Garofalo’s office offers pelvic floor rehabilitation to help women suffering from these common gynecological complaints. If you feel you may be experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, schedule a consultation with Laury Berkwitt by clicking here.
Here are the top three benefits of undergoing pelvic floor rehabilitation for women:
1. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Improves Incontinence Issues
One of the most common complaints in gynecological care is urinary incontinence. The leakage may be severe such as complete, unexpected emptying of the bowels or bladder – or more subtle, with leaking only a few drops of urine when sneezing or laughing. Further incontinence problems may include urinary urgency, fecal leakage, urinary frequency, and urination during sleep.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation is especially helpful for incontinence problems. A qualified healthcare provider can address these issues by retraining the pelvic floor musculature in the office through the use of biofeedback therapy, employing behavior modification techniques, and creating individualized home exercise programs for patients. You can learn more about our pelvic floor rehabilitation treatment plans here.
2. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Improves Organ Prolapse
The pelvic floor muscles form a sort of sling, supporting many of the pelvic organs. When these muscles and associated connective tissues weaken, the organs may drop into the lower pelvic cavity. Often, this drop is not noticeable to the patient and is only discovered by a physician during a pelvic examination. However, organs may noticeably protrude, or prolapse, from the vagina, which can be very bothersome to women.
Common causes of prolapse include vaginal trauma such as childbirth, pelvic pressure from being overweight, straining from constipation, frequent heavy lifting, and simply aging. In fact, most women with pelvic organ prolapse are post-menopausal, although the problem can strike younger women as well.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation has been shown to improve pelvic organ prolapse by strengthening the pelvic floor musculature. Clinical studies show that rehabilitation will not reverse prolapse, but can slow its progression.
3. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Decreases Pelvic Pain
There are many possible causes of pelvic pain. We now know that pelvic floor dysfunction may be the cause for pelvic pain. In many cases of pelvic floor dysfunction, women experience pain with urination or pain during intercourse. Rehabilitation may help to significantly reduce this pain.
Through the use of biofeedback in the office, patients can learn how to identify and relax the pelvic floor musculature. Home exercises, stretches and the use of breathing techniques may also help improve pelvic pain. Adherence to these exercises can go a long way toward improving pelvic pain.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain, a sensation of pelvic fullness, incontinence, or other problems, it is important that you contact your OB/GYN for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan. We can develop a pelvic floor rehabilitation plan that is right for you. To schedule a consultation with Laury Berkwitt, click the button below.