Jefferson University Hospitals

What is a Pelvic Floor Disorder?

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Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFDs) can happen when women have weakened pelvic nerves, muscles and/or stretches or tears in the layers of connective tissue, know as fascia, of the pelvic floor. Such stretches or tears may cause bladder and bowel control problems or pelvic organ prolapse.

We offer advanced diagnostics, physical rehabilitation, integrative medicine treatment modalities and corrective surgery for the following conditions:

  • Urinary frequency and urgency or Overactive Bladder (OAB)
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Stress urinary and/or fecal incontinence
  • Symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse  (where the organs drop from their normal position to create a bulge)
  • A narrowed or non-functional vagina (narrowing of vaginal diameter and length requiring corrective surgery)
  • NON-opioid, NON-narcotic treatment of bladder pain, interstitial cystitis, urethral syndrome and pelvic floor spasms
  • Developmental variations requiring corrective surgery
  • Complications from Pelvic floor surgery
  • Rectal fullness or prolapse
  • Numbness or weakness of the perineum
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Cosmetic gynecology
  • Female sexual issues

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Disorders

The symptoms of PFDs generally begin gradually, and progress with time. They may vary among women, but can include:

  • A frequent need to urinate (when you do go, you may stop and start many times)
  • Ongoing urinary leakage when you cough, sneeze, or laugh
  • Painful urination
  • Feeling of pelvic heaviness, fullness or a bulge in the vagina associated with or without back pain
  • Needing to push organs back up into the vagina to successfully empty the bladder or bowels
  • Feeling that you need to have several bowel movements during a short period of time
  • Feeling that you cannot complete a bowel movement
  • Constipation or straining with bowel movements
  • Ongoing pain or pressure in your pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
  • Sexual difficulties 

Treatment Options

PFDs can often be treated successfully without surgery therefore non-surgical options are offered during our initial approach. Non-surgical and surgical options include:

  • Physical Therapy – Jefferson Rehabilitation, Jefferson’s outpatient rehabilitation and physical therapy facilities, offers a Pelvic Floor Rehab Program focused on conditions affecting the pelvis and the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Integrative Medicine A combination of mainstream medicine and high-quality, evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments. Such treatment can include diet and nutrition, herbals, minerals and supplements, manual therapy and massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga and other stress reduction and relaxation techniques.
  • Medication – May be recommended for urinary urgency, urinary frequency, urge incontinence, interstitial cystitis and pelvic floor spasms (also called myofascial pain syndrome). In complex cases, referral to pain management may be needed for a multidisciplinary approach to urogenital pain.
  • Pessary Management – A temporary or permanent non-surgical solution where a removable device is inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic floor for pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence.
  • Surgery – If a patient does not respond to nonsurgical options or both they and their physician determines that a PFD warrants more invasive therapy, then surgery may be necessary.
  • Cosmetic Gynecology – Procedures that are cosmetic in nature and may not be medically necessary but are performed to either improve function and/or appearance.

Make an Appointment

Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment with our urogynecology and pelvic floor medicine specialists. Or you can schedule an appointment online.