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Pelvic Floor

Underlying Problems Requiring Pelvic Floor Treatment:
Problems with the pelvic floor affect both men and women and are often referred to as pelvic floor dysfunction, or PFD. The pelvic floor includes the muscles that attach to the pelvic bone and sacrum. They stretch under the organs of the pelvis and offer support to the bladder, the uterus, the prostate, and the rectum. The muscles play a role in bowel and bladder functions for both sexes, and in sexual function for women.

In some people, the pelvic floor either becomes too tense or too loose. The result can be pelvic pain, a problem with frequency of urination and urgency, constipation, incontinence, and pain during sexual stimulation. Causes include aging, menopause, prior pelvic surgery, connective tissue disorders, obesity, and pregnancy.

Treatment:

Pelvic floor dysfunction can be diagnosed by a doctor performing a physical examination. Special instruments can be used to determine muscle control. Treatment can vary and may include physical therapy, exercise, medication, and surgery. Biofeedback is another possible treatment option that helps many patients learn to retrain their muscles.

There are multiple options for surgical procedures used to treat pelvic floor problems, and patients can discuss them with their doctors. Surgery is usually considered only after other approaches, like biofeedback, have not worked. The surgical options are varied, with one involving adding support to the pelvic floor muscles by implanting a net that acts almost as a hammock to add additional support to the organs in the pelvic area.

Recovery from Pelvic Floor Treatment:

The recovery process will certainly vary depending on the type of pelvic floor treatment a patient undergoes. Biofeedback programs may take some time to reach full effect, for example, although their non-invasive nature means that there is no post-operative recovery. Physical therapy is not without discomfort, however. Some of the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures available require far less recovery time than was previously possible, but they do still represent a surgical procedure and should be thought of in this way.

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