Sometimes your pelvic floor just doesn’t work as it should, that’s better known as pelvic floor dysfunction, and that’s what we’re talking about in this week’s Women’s Wellness.
“So, the pelvic floor are the muscles that hold up your pelvic organs, and the pelvic organs are going to include your bladder, your uterus if you’re a woman, your prostate if you’re a man and your rectum. If you have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, it means that those muscles aren’t listening to you when you try to tell them to do what you want them to do, and that can be related to the muscles themselves or the nerves that go to those muscles,” said Dr. Stephanie Cauble, a gastroenterologist at the Baton Rouge Clinic.
According to statistics, one in three women have PFD.
“This is definitely something that is going to affect women more because of the history of childbirth, which is probably one of the most common things that cause disorders in the pelvic floor. The most common symptom you’ll have if you have PFD is problems with deification, usually constipation. You may notice that you have to put pressure in order to get stool out or that you have to strain quite a bit in order to get stool out,” said Dr. Cauble.
Treatment is available, including one called biofeedback.
“I like to think about this as physical therapy for your pelvic floor muscles. It typically involves using electrodes you put in your rectum, and also you can do this in the rest of your pelvic floor organs, and you practice retraining those muscles, so that they respond when you are telling them to relax and contract to either release the stool or hold the stool in,” explained Dr. Cauble.
What if you think you have it, but aren’t sure?
“It’s important that your doctor do an exam to evaluate these muscles, and also to evaluate for structural abnormalities,” concluded Dr. Cauble.