Pelvic Floor Disorder: Discussing the Details

Unfortunately, as women age and the muscles in their pelvic region weaken, they often begin to suffer from pelvic floor disorders, which generally include pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and bowel dysfunction. At Coyle Institute, urogynecologist Dr. Michael Coyle offers his expertise in diagnosing pelvic floor disorders and treating them in the most innovative, non-invasive ways possible.

Effects of Pelvic Floor Disorder

In addition to the embarrassing and distressing effects of pelvic floor disorders, there are often a number of painful and even physically limiting ways that these conditions manifest themselves, including pelvic pain, pain in the lower back, and discomfort in the bladder. Fortunately, there are ways to treat these disorders so that life can be a little less complicated and a little more carefree. The very first, most important step is, of course, to seek out the advice of a licensed medical professional, ideally someone who either practices urogynecology or who might be able to refer you to a colleague with a specialization in the field.

Pelvic Floor Disorder: Factoring The Risks

Not all women have the same risk for pelvic organ disorders, though there are a number of circumstances which contribute to a greater likelihood. Being aware of these factors is key in recognizing the signs and symptoms, as well as in being able to identify the most effective methods of treatment going forward. Most often, women become more prone to develop the disorders beginning at the age of 20; and certain life events, lifestyles, and even genetic conditions can all contribute to the development of pelvic floor disorders, including:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth, which cause a greater amount of strain to the pelvic floor muscles
  • Menopause, a stage of life during which hormonal changes often cause the muscles of the pelvic floor to weaken and lose their elasticity, which may lead to pelvic organ prolapse
  • The aging process itself, which often causes the deterioration of pelvic floor muscles, making them to unable to support the pelvic organs and increasing the likelihood of organ prolapse
  • Women whose family medical histories include a tendency toward pelvic floor disorders and certain ethnic backgrounds
  • Obesity, which can cause strain on pelvic organs and induce pelvic organ prolapse
  • Diet, which may actually affect the bowel and urinary function and may, in turn, lead to incontinence or pelvic pain
  • Smoking, which can directly affect the overall health and function of the bladder and generally causes damage to connective tissue, potentially resulting in bladder prolapse
  • Exertion of the muscles in the lower extremities, such as heavy lifting or strenuous exercise over an extended period of time
  • Nerve damage and neurological disorders, which can inhibit the brain’s ability to recognize bladder and bowel urges or cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken
  • Injury or surgery, both of which may damage pelvic floor muscles and cause pelvic organ prolapse

Pelvic Floor Disorder: Talking Treatments

At Coyle Institute, Dr. Coyle and his team can offer our patients the peace of mind that they are being cared for by the nation’s first board-certified urogynecologist. After an initial consultation, Dr. Coyle will be better able to assess any symptoms which may be present and recommend a course of treatment. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, there are multiple options available, not all of which will require surgery.

Some of the most simple methods of treatment include:

  • Making dietary changes to address obesity
  • Reducing the consumption of foods or beverages which irritate the bowel or bladder
  • Becoming more active to lose weight or regulate bowel movements
  • Adjusting the type and intensity of exercise to reduce the strain on the pelvic floor
  • Smoking cessation
  • Kegels, which are a controlled series of contractions of the pelvic floor muscles designed to strengthen them
  • Observing a regular schedule of trips to the bathroom in order to retrain the bladder and prevent a sudden, unforeseen urge to urinate

Should a more intense approach be required, injections, nerve stimulation, medications, pelvic floor physical therapy and the implantation of devices such as pessaries might be discussed before surgery is chosen as the best course of action. At Coyle Institute, we want our patients to be fully aware of all of their options, so we’ll take the time to talk to them and answer any questions and concerns they might be feeling.

Don’t let disorder rule your life. Give Dr. Coyle and his team at Coyle Institute a call today!