Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

In women, the pelvic floor consists of the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that act as a “hammock” to support the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum and help these pelvic organs function. You rely on these muscles to control your bladder and bowel movements.

Pelvic floor disorders occur when that support becomes weakened or damaged. The symptoms of pelvic floor disorders depend on the type of the disorder and the muscles or nerves affected. The three main areas of pelvic floor disorders are:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

According to a National Institutes of Health study, almost 25 percent of women are faced with pelvic floor disorders. That number jumps to 37 percent of women 60 to 79 years old, and nearly half of women 80 or older. While pelvic floor disorders become more common as women age, they are not a normal or acceptable part of aging. These problems can have a significant negative impact on a woman’s well-being and quality of life. But while many women are reluctant to discuss this problem, continuing advancements in treatments can benefit your health, wellness and peace of mind.

Causes of Pelvic Floor Disorders

Pelvic floor disorders result from damage to the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. Natural childbirth is one of the main causes of pelvic floor disorders, and even pregnancy can be a factor. Having pelvic surgery or radiation treatments can cause these disorders, since these procedures could damage nerves and other tissues in the pelvic floor. Women who are overweight or obese are also at greater risk. Aging and genetics are other possible causes. In some cases, the exact source of the disorder remains unknown.

Treating Pelvic Floor Disorders

Urogynecology is a specialty of gynecologic medicine that involves the diagnosis and treatment of female pelvic floor disorders. Orlando Health offers comprehensive urogynecologic care that includes a full spectrum of diagnostic tests and treatment methods, including evaluations, biofeedback, electrostimulation, specialized physical therapy, prescription medication and minimally invasive surgical intervention.

Orlando Health’s commitment is to provide women with comprehensive care that only the most capable and highly trained physicians can offer in one of the most technologically advanced environments. If surgical intervention is needed, the vast majority of gynecological conditions can now be treated much more effectively through minimally invasive surgery, which reduces complications and allows for a faster recovery and quicker return to your normal daily life.

We routinely perform the following surgeries for pelvic floor disorders, using minimally invasive, laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques:

  • Uterine resuspension
  • Vaginal prolapse repair
  • Cystocele repair
  • Rectocele repair

Types of Pelvic Floor Disorders

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