Men and women of all ages can suffer from pelvic floor conditions, but they often go untreated because they are assumed to be a part of the normal aging process. The Pelvic Health Center at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center is dedicated to helping women and men suffering from a variety of common pelvic floor conditions.
The pelvic floor is a combination of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues that support the main pelvic organs. These organs include the bladder and bowel, prostate in men and the uterus in women. The pelvic floor can be weakened by a combination of factors, such as childbirth, chronic heavy lifting, constipation, chronic cough, pelvic floor surgeries, menopause, and other chronic medical and neurologic conditions. Although problems do become more common with age, it can also affect young women during and after pregnancy, as well as young women who participate in repetitive physically strenuous sports.
Any person challenged with a pelvic floor condition knows that it can affect their quality of life but what most people don’t know is that many of these issues are treatable and there are resources available to help. Urinary incontinence for example, affects about 33 million people according to the Urology Care Foundation. In men and women, urinary incontinence can often be treated with a combination of pelvic floor physical therapy, dietary changes, prescribed medications and even a wide variety of surgical options.
There are many types of pelvic floor conditions that men and women experience, including:
- Overactive bladder – the frequent need to urinate along with a feeling that the urge to urinate cannot be delayed, can lead to urinary incontinence.
- Pelvic organ prolapse – when the connective tissue supporting the walls of the vagina and the pelvic organs weakens. This weakening can cause the pelvic organs to herniate or “drop” out of place.
- Urinary incontinence – the loss of bladder control includes symptoms of leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, or with physical activity.
- Fecal incontinence – losing control of bowel movements. The severity can range from leakage when passing gas or complete loss of control.
- Bladder and rectal incontinence, and pelvic pain – can affect function of the bowel and bladder and also affect a person’s physical activity and sexual activity.
It is important to know that pelvic floor disorders can overlap and should be diagnosed by your primary care doctor, gynecologist, or urologist. Depending on the diagnosis appropriate treatment options can then be offered.
The Pelvic Health Center offers patients a comprehensive blend of community and hospital-based care to bring relief for pelvic floor conditions. Through a network of providers, the Pelvic Health Center offers innovative treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction issues. Patients receive personalized treatment plans utilizing the least invasive therapies available.