During your life, pelvic floor disorders can arise that may require professional attention. These include uterine prolapse and vaginal prolapse, incontinence in association with pelvic muscle control, and other complications that might be brought on by child-birth or age. Fortunately, the doctors and staff of Stone Oak Womens Center in San Antonio are experts in diagnosing and treating these complications – often through minimally invasive therapies or surgical means for procedures even as complicated as bladder removal surgery. The pages within this section will outline the various types of pelvic organ prolapse, describe incontinence, and describe the surgical and non-surgical treatment options offered at Stone Oak Womens Center to treat these very common conditions. We encourage you to visit the American Urogynecological Society for more information on these conditions.
Women with weakness of the pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue may begin to have problems controlling their bladder and bowels.
The pelvic floor describes a network of ligaments, muscles and other tissues that protect the organs inside the pelvis including the bladder, vagina, uterus and the rectum. The pelvic muscles work with the tissues that surround them to keep all the pelvic organs in place and properly working. The pelvic floor specifically helps the urethra and rectum, hence patients frequently complain of urinary and bowel incontinence.
Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFD)
Women with weakness of the pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue may begin to have problems controlling their bladder and bowels. Pelvic floor disorders include bladder control (urinary incontinence), bowel control (fecal incontinence) and pelvic organ prolapse. Laughing, exertion and coughing can cause you to accidentally leak urine or feces. Leaking can be a sign of that you have a pelvic floor disorder.Symptoms
- Urinary problems, such as urgent need to urinate, painful urination, or incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Constipation, straining or pain during bowel movements
- Pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum
- A Heavy feeling in the pelvis or a bulge in the vagina or rectum
- Muscle spasms in the pelvis
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Obesity and limited physical activity
- Problems urinating and having a bowel movement
- Pelvic injury, pelvic surgery
- Radiation treatments
- Repeated heavy lifting
Pelvic Organ ProlapseWhat is Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)?
The pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are stretched or become too weak to hold organs in the correct position in the pelvis. As it progresses, women can feel bulging tissue protruding through the opening of the vagina.
- Postmenopausal women
- 11% lifetime risk of prolapse surgery by age 80
- Giving birth one or more times
- Tobacco use
- Chronic Lung Disease (coughing)
- Pressure and heaviness in the pelvic area
- Bulging, feeling a lump in the vagina or bulge coming out through the vagina opening
- Urinary problems - difficult starting to urinate, weakness or spraying stream of urine
- Bowel problems - chronic straining or pushing to have bowel movements
- Pelvic pain, painful sex (dyspareunia)
- Low back pain associated with bulge
Best treatment depends on how much the symptoms bother you. Pelvic Organ Prolapse is not life-threatening, but treatments can help improve quality of life and sexual health.Conservative approach:
- Watch and see how things go
- Dietary changes
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises
- Pelvic floor physical therapy
- A Vaginal Pessary is a removable device placed into the vagina.
- There are a variety of pessaries available, made of rubber, plastic, or silicone-based material.
- Support the bladder, uterus and vagina
Every woman’s situation is unique and no single operation is right for every patient, but advanced technology, such as Robotic surgery, allows for patients to recover sooner and with less complications. The success or failure of someone else’s operation should never be the deciding factor for you. You and your doctor must decide what is the best option.
Sacral neuromodulation for treatment of overactive bladder, urinary retention, urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence. Visit Medtronic to learn more about InterStim Therapy.