There’s Nothing Easy About It
Unfortunately, as women age, their pelvic floor muscles become weak or deteriorate; and, as a result, they find themselves unable to initiate or fully complete defecation or bowel movements the way their bodies were designed to. This condition is known as severe defecatory dysfunction; and while it may be experienced by a great number of women, most suffer in silence, ashamed to discuss it with their partners, their friends, and even their doctors until it becomes too severe to ignore.
Breaking Down The Symptoms
Most women with severe defecatory dysfunction experience embarrassing symptoms that can interfere with their daily lives and inhibit their freedom, some of which include:
• Inability to fully evacuate the bowel
• Inability to defecate without the use of a laxative or an enema
• Inability to defecate without physical stimulation, which may require using the fingers to massage the perineum
• Rectal pain
• Some form of bowel leakage including solid or liquid stool, mucus, or gas
Many individuals will, at some point in their lives, experience temporary constipation; but chronic constipation is a more serious condition caused by an actual rectal obstruction of some kind. Most often, these obstructions include torn or damaged rectal muscles or tissues; lack of sensitivity in the rectal nerves, which are required to stimulate the process of defecation; an internal disease or medical condition that inhibits the function of the sphincter or pelvic floor muscles; or a physical obstruction of the rectum.
Before an effective method of treatment can be pursued, proper diagnosis must be made and the actual cause must be identified. More severe cases may require surgery, while others may be addressed simply by dietary changes, physical therapy, or even medication. Fortunately for women facing surgery, however, there are minimally invasive options available including laparoscopic surgery and robotically-assisted procedures such as daVinci surgery.
The emotional and physical pain caused by severe defecatory dysfunction should never be ignored, nor should it be cause for shame. Instead, it should be understood that it is a treatable condition, one suffered by many women; and that though it may be a sensitive issue, discussing it openly with a physician is the first step in finding real, permanent relief.
Don’t live with the emotional strain and physical pain of severe defecatory dysfunction! Find relief and give the team at Coyle Institute a call today!