Pelvic Medicine | Reconstructive Surgery

Is a pelvic floor disorder limiting your activities? Pelvic floor disorders are common. They include incontinence (not being able to control your bladder or bowels) and prolapse (when organs drop from the normal position).  Pelvic floor disorders are treatable.

What is pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery?

Pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery treats men and women with pelvic floor disorders, also called pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). These conditions, which include urinary incontinence, can happen with age or because of weakened, stretched or damaged pelvic muscles.

Pelvic floor disorder symptoms

The following symptoms may indicate that you have pelvic floor disorder (PFD). These symptoms also may be from other conditions. Talk to you doctor and get a complete physical exam.

  • Needing to have several bowel movements in a short period of time.
  • Feeling like you cannot complete a bowel movement.
  • Constipation or straining with bowel movements.
  • Needing to urinate often. When you do go, you may stop and start many times.
  • Pain with urination.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum.
  • Painful intercourse (for women).

Being obese, straining, childbirth, and lifting heavy objects may be factors in pelvic floor disorders. These conditions affect the pelvic muscles so they do not work as they should.

Conditions that pelvic medicine doctors treat

  • Fecal incontinence: Loss of control of bowel movements.

  • Urinary incontinence: Loss of bladder control.

  • Painful bladder syndrome: Also called interstitial cystitis, painful bladder syndrome includes the need to urinate often, bladder pain, and pelvic pain.

  • Recurrent urinary tract infection: Urinary tract infections that return after treatment.

  • Urethral stricture: Narrowing of the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body) Urethral stricture can be caused by surgery, injury or disease. Symptoms include blood in the semen, bloody and dark urine, and painful urination.

  • Pelvic floor prolapse: Pelvic organs drop from their normal place in the lower belly. Pelvic floor prolapse happens from weakened or stretched muscles due to age, childbirth, surgery and other factors.

Treating pelvic floor disorders

Pelvic floor disorder can be treated with physical therapy, medication, and minimally invasive therapy. Talk to your doctor about the options, and which is best for you. You may be see a urologist, urogynecologist (for women) or other specialist for treatment.

Physical therapy for pelvic floor disorders

Physical therapy and biofeedback

The most common treatment for PFD is to work with a physical therapist using biofeedback. Your physical therapist also may recommend relaxation techniques that include warm baths, yoga, and exercises.

Medication for pelvic floor disorder

Low dose muscle relaxant

A low-dose muscle relaxant sometimes is prescribed to deal with pelvic floor dysfunction.

Surgery for pelvic floor disorder

When non-surgical treatments don't work

Surgery is an option for pelvic floor disorders that do not get better with non-surgical treatment.

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