The pelvic floor, also know as the pelvic diaphragm, is the set of muscles responsible for maintaining the right amount of pressure in the abdomen, as well as supporting pelvic organs. A variety of factors that add stress to the pelvic floor can increase one’s risk for developing a pelvic muscle disorder including pregnancy, childbirth, excessive weight lifting, obesity, and age. Pelvic floor muscles can also be affected by interstitial cystitis and vulvodynia.
Pelvic muscle disorders can disrupt the pelvic floor’s ability to function properly, leading to urinary problems, bowel problems, and pelvic prolapse. There are a variety of urogynecology treatments for pelvic organ prolapse, urogynecology disorders and incontinence.
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that results in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region. IC symptoms differ from case to case and can sometimes vary even for individual patients. Common symptoms include mild discomfort, pressure, tenderness, or intense pain in the bladder and pelvic area. Symptoms can also present as sudden, urgent need to urinate, frequent need to urinate, or a combination of these symptoms. Women’s symptoms often get worse during intercourse.
Vulvodynia is characterized by chronic vulvar pain. Causes for IC and vulvodynia are largely unknown, but some studies suggest that genetics, muscle spasms, and hypersensitivity to yeast infection may be contributing factors.
Learn more about interstitial cystitis from the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Prolapse of the organs is characterized by sagging, bulging or falling of the organs supported by the pelvic floor. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when pelvic organs protrude into the vagina, causing pain and other symptoms in the pelvic region. Below is a list of various types of pelvic organ prolapse.
Treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse include physical therapy and/or surgery depending on patient symptoms, age, weight and lifestyle. An examination with your physician can determine the best treatment route for you.
Learn more by making an appointment with your NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center provider.