For women, the pelvic organs include the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum. Normally, the pelvic floor muscles surround and protect these organs, keeping them in place for optimal function. These muscles cannot properly relax and coordinate when you have a pelvic floor disorder.
Some women are more prone to pelvic floor dysfunction, especially if they have a family history, have children, or have sustained a traumatic injury to the area. Having a related condition like interstitial cystitis is also a risk factor.
While symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder are different for everyone, some of the most common ones include:
- Frequent and painful urination or bowel movements.
- Constipation or straining during bowel movements.
- Lower back pain.
- Pain during sexual intercourse.
What Is Pelvic Floor Therapy?
At Mile High OB/GYN, we treat most pelvic floor disorders with physical therapy. Pelvic floor therapy often combines many courses of treatment intended to ease pain and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Most often, it involves external and internal pelvic floor stimulation. External stimulation might involve a deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy and nerve release. Internal treatment involves stimulation of the pelvic floor using fingers or specialized tools through the vagina or rectum. This treatment can be an immensely vulnerable and sensitive experience, so your physical therapist will wait until you are comfortable to start internal stimulation.
Other treatments you may receive in physical therapy include:
- Medication: Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a stool softener to keep your bowels moving regularly. You may also get a prescription for muscle relaxation or pain management.
- Biofeedback: This treatment can help you learn to control your pelvic floor muscles better. Using painless sensors, you and your doctor can monitor your pelvic floor muscles as you attempt to relax or stretch them. With this treatment, you can better understand your muscle coordination and see the effects of your work in real-time.
- Relaxation methods: Some women find techniques such as meditation, exercise and even warm baths can ease their symptoms.
- Vaginal dilation: Vaginal dilators are small tubes that progressively get bigger to help you learn to relax your pelvic muscles. This treatment is especially helpful for women who experience pain during penetration.
Get Treatment for Pelvic Floor Disorders at Mile High OB/GYN
If you think you may have a pelvic floor disorder, make an appointment at Mile High OB/GYN today. Call any of our three locations in Denver, Rose or Englewood or book your appointment online.