Women are uniquely susceptible to pelvic floor disorders that may lead to incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction, and lower back pain. These disorders affect women’s pelvic organs -- the uterus (or womb), vagina, bladder, rectum, and the muscles that surround and support them.
Any medical conditions or injuries that have an impact on the health of nerves, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, back surgery, spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, or childbirth, can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments.
Many people are sensitive and embarrassed about their condition or assume it is a natural result of aging or childbirth. We encourage you to talk to one of our specialists about your pelvic floor health issues.
Approximately 50 percent of women experience some type of bladder incontinence during their lifetime; and one-in-four women over the age of 18 experience voluntary leakage of urine:
- Stress incontinence – the involuntary loss of urine with physical exertion, including coughing, sneezing, getting up from a chair, laughing, and exercising.
- Urge incontinence – the loss of urine that occurs with a strong desire to urinate but an inability to get to the bathroom in time.
- Mixed incontinence – a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- Incomplete voiding - a small amount of urine remaining in the bladder after voiding is normal, but a “high post void residual” indicates that the bladder is not emptying as fully as it should.
Available treatments include pelvic floor therapy, physical therapy, and minimally-invasive surgery.