Are you experiencing incontinence, difficulties with bathroom visits or pelvic pain? Well you may be one of the many who is displaying symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. PFD is a common occurrence amongst aging women but can sometimes affect men.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) is the condition where the Pelvic Floor does not function as it should and includes prolapse of the bladder, rectum, bowel or uterus. This condition is often embarrassing and can leave many suffering from low self esteem and depression as a result. It is commonly undiagnosed and it is quite staggering to find that that an estimated one third of the population of women suffer from PFD, at some point! The likelihood of PFD occurring increases significantly amongst women as they age. Other contributing factors are diabetes, hernia, obesity and hormone imbalance.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The most common symptoms of PFD include one or more of these:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Frequent incontinence
- Pain during urination
- Rectal Pain
- Pelvic Pressure
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Pain when sitting, walking or standing
- Urgency to urinate then difficulties emptying the bladder
What can be done?
If you have any of the symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical guidance because it is a condition that does not necessarily need to be endured! If diagnosed early, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can often be treated successfully using non surgical procedures. These options are available and provide excellent results:
Pelvic Floor Exercises and Rehabilitation
These exercises are incorporated to strengthen the muscles to perform more efficiently and effectively.
With the guidance of a doctor, you may find that there is a variety or medications that can be administered to provide relief and a reduction in PFD
Education and Behavior Therapy:
Changes in lifestyle or behavior can have a dramatic effect in minimizing the occurrence of PFD.
– Managing a healthy weight. (This also reduces risk of Diabetes, which can also aggravate Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.)
– Controlled fluid intake
– Bladder training
This therapy is designed to retrain patients how to co-ordinate the abdominal muscles with the pelvic floor muscles. Biofeedback training successfully reduces the symptoms in 70% of cases.
Relaxation is a powerful therapy when dealing with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, as stress is a major contributing factor in worsening PFD symptoms. Stress causes muscles to tighten, so take the time to do something you find relaxing. Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi are renowned for their ability to reduce stress and tension.
If the symptoms are more severe or continue to occur over an extended period of time, more invasive and surgical procedures are an option and have high success rates. Pelvic Floor Reconstruction surgery, slings for incontinence and other options are available to reduce or eliminate the symptoms.
If you suspect you may have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, speak to your doctor to find out the best course of action to ensure you feel comfortable, happy and healthy no matter what your age!