What is pelvic floor dysfunction ?
The pelvic floor are a group of muscles at the base of the pelvis. It supports (depending on your anatomy) the bladder, bowels, uterus and vagina, prostate and the rectum. The muscles relax and tighten based on what you're doing.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is when you can't relax/control the muscles correctly, which impacts the ability to empty the bladder or having a bowel movement. Some even experience urine or stool leaks.
Symptoms include (not limited to) :
- Urinary urgency / incontinence
- Problems with not being able to urinate
- Bladder pain
- Difficulty opening bowels
- Lower back / abdomen pain
- Muscle spasms
- Pain / discomfort during intercourse for women
The exact cause of PFD is still unknown but some reasons for it may be chronic infections, trauma to pelvis, childbirth, overuse of muscles, surgery, age, being overweight, nerve issues, certain conditions.
Diagnosis can be difficult as it is based on many things, such as your medical history, symptoms, ruling out other possible conditions, and a physical exam would be conducted to feel for knots, tension and spasms.
Since PFD is difficulty in controlling or relaxing muscles, treatment can include working on stretching and opening the muscles for better control. Medicines such as muscle relaxants, stool softenrs and something for bladder urgency. Surgery is not usually a primary treatment option as it can be invasive so it's done when all other options have been exhausted and if it is absolutely necessary due to a prolapse. Personally, i've had botox injections into my pelvic floor during a cystoscopy.