What are Pelvic Floor Disorders and How Do I Know if I have One?
Updated: Jul 9
Urinary leakage, gas or stool leakage and pelvic organ prolapse are some very common, but not normal, conditions that greatly impact people's lives. People often will stop doing the things they love and withdraw from social situations because of these problems. But it doesn't have to be that way. There is help out there that does not have involve medication or surgery.
I am going to describe these disorders in a little more detail in the next few paragraphs. Please keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. For more information, you can visit https://www.womenshealthapta.org/patients/
Urine leaking, or urinary incontinence, has two main types (and several less common types).
-Stress incontinence - This is when a urine leak happens with coughing, sneezing, running, lifting or a thousand other things that you do that cause an increase in abdominal pressure. This problem can be from pelvic floor muscle weakness or tightness, a muscle coordination issue, abdominal pressures that are too high for the task or a combination of all three.
-Urge incontinence - This is when a urine leak happens with a strong urge to go and pee that starts before or just as you are pulling your pants down. Often there is a pelvic floor muscle component to this problem as well as some habits around drinking and peeing that could use a new plan.
-Gas leakage almost always indicates a weakness in the anal sphincter. This weakness could be due to childbirth injury or chronic straining to poop.
-Stool leaks can occur because of a muscle weakness or coordination problem and also because of a stool texture issue.
Prolapse and Celes
-A prolapse is when an organ starts to descend through its own canal and orifice. The uterus is a common place for this to occur.
- A cele occurs when a pelvic organ bulges into a weakened part of the vagina. This can happen with the bladder (cystocele), the urethra (urethrocele), the intestines (enterocele) and the rectum (rectocele).
Often with these conditions you may experience pelvic pressure or heaviness or changes in your bowel and bladder function.
So do some of these symptoms sound familiar?
If yes, # 1 please remain calm. Having a prolapse does not mean that you should never jump again nor do urine leaks now indicate you are destined to a retirement in adult diapers. The take home message is if that these symptoms are bothersome to you then seek some help. There are a lot of messages out there and many conflict and are confusing. In my opinion, the best way to cut through the confusion and get right to the information that will be useful to you is to speak with a professional and get your questions answered. The solution may be easier than you ever imagined and the future much brighter!
A physical therapist can listen to your story, evaluate you and together you can develop a personalized plan to help improve or solve your problem. Find a skilled professional using the links below.