Pelvic floor dysfunction is a disorder that affects a surprising number of women. As many as one in three American women experience the disorder. If you are experiencing the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, here is what you need to know:
What Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction, or PFD, occurs when the connective tissue that offers support to your internal organs is damaged. For some women, the damage occurs in childbirth. It can sometimes result from consistent and chronic pressure on the abdomen and strenuous exercise. As the tissue fails to provide the necessary support for your organs, they can start to shift, which results in several symptoms.
The symptoms can vary depending on the way the organs shift, but many women experience urinary and fecal incontinence. It can also result in changes to a woman's ability to have a bowel movement. You might feel bloated throughout the day. In some instances, having sexual intercourse can be painful.
Is Medical Intervention Necessary?
Despite the seriousness of PFD, your doctor might not recommend surgery to treat the disorder. He or she might rely on non-invasive measures for treating the disorder before opting for surgery. There are several treatments available, including biofeedback.
Biofeedback is essentially retraining your pelvic floor muscles so they can provide the support that is needed by your organs. Biofeedback training techniques can vary, but it usually begins with monitoring your pelvic floor muscles while you make attempts to contract and relax them. After the assessment is complete, a therapist or doctor will make recommendations on how you can improve your pelvic floor muscle coordination.
What Can You Do?
At home, you might be required to perform daily exercises to help with improving your muscles coordination. For instance, daily Kegels can help with strengthening the muscles. Your doctor or therapist will create an at-home program for you to follow.
In addition to this, you should focus on relaxation techniques. Stress can cause unnecessary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that could hurt the progress you are making in biofeedback training. Relaxation techniques vary and finding the right one that works for you can take trial and error. Your options can include yoga, meditation, and even massage therapy.
Some women fail to get treatment for their PFD symptoms out of embarrassment. However, you do not have to live with the symptoms. With the proper treatment, you can soon find relief from PFD.
Contact a health center like Western Branch Center for Women for more information and assistance.