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Women Wellness

the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders

What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders?

Written and Reviewed by Dr. Uzma Qureshi
Published on: 29/04/2024

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, over 60% of UK females struggle with at least one symptom that identifies their poor pelvic health. Whether it’s pelvic pain, a feeling of heaviness, or vaginal bulging, all the symptoms are bothersome and affect your quality of life. Tired of juggling any of these symptoms, you may be wondering, “What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders?” 

As medical science advances, there are a variety of treatment options for pelvic floor disorders available to you. The treatment options vary according to the severity of the disorder. 

In this blog, you will learn about various pelvic floor dysfunction treatment approaches. They range from lifestyle modifications to surgical and non-surgical interventions. Let’s learn together.

Before jumping to what the interventions are, let’s learn what the disorder is. 

What is pelvic floor disorder?

Think of your pelvis as the base, which contains a sling. The muscles that form this sling hold vital organs such as your bladder, uterus, and rectum. The strength and proper functioning of these muscles are important because they hold essential organs.

When the pelvic floor muscles do not work properly, that is when we call it a pelvic floor disorder. The sling is either too tight or too weak, causing problems such as peeing by accident, difficulties passing the stool, or sometimes pain and discomfort in your pelvis. 

Also read: What Are the Symptoms and Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders? Learn the approaches.

To treat this uncomfortable condition and its causes, there are multiple pelvic floor dysfunction therapy options available. The key is to talk to your doctor, and they will guide you to the right option for your symptoms. 

People often ignore this disorder because they may think it’s unfixable or feel uncomfortable discussing their symptoms. However, there are many treatments available, both surgical and nonsurgical, that can greatly improve function and alleviate discomfort and inconvenience. 

All the treatment approaches aim to help each patient regain their health and feel better. The following are some treatment options for pelvic floor disorders: 

Lifestyle conversions

Whenever you search for  ‘What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders?’ Lifestyle changes will appear on top. The first step in managing any disorder in your body is to fix your lifestyle or tweak it. Here are some lifestyle changes that you can adopt to best manage your PFD. 

Manage your weight

Being overweight or obese means you stress your pelvic floor beyond its limit. Research says that if you lose even 3 to 5% of your body weight, the urinary incontinence episodes decrease by 50%. This shows how losing weight reduces stress on your pelvic organs and muscles. Maintain your diet and stay physically active to achieve your normal body weight. Weight management can also lessen bulging from the anus or vagina. 

Maintain your diet

Maintain your diet. 

Maintaining your diet means you should eat foods that are high in fibre content so that they may maintain the consistency of your stool, saving you from constipation. Avoid foods that cause constipation to avoid any strain during bowel movements. High-fibre food contains fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Avoid having caffeinated and carbonated drinks, as they trigger the bladder and can increase the urge to go to the bathroom and sometimes urine leakage as well. 

Non-surgical Approaches

What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders? Another answer is medication. After lifestyle modifications, there comes conservative management to control the bothersome symptoms. There are several non-surgical options for treating pelvic floor dysfunction.

Medicine

Your doctor may prescribe you medicines to control unwanted bladder contractions and avoid episodes or urine leakage. The medicines sometimes include local vaginal oestrogens in the form of cream or tablets. Doctors also prescribe oral medicines like oxybutynin and solifenacin once a day to control the urgency and frequency of urine. Long-term use of these medicines has some adverse effects, like memory problems. 

To reduce the pelvic stress caused by constipation, stool softeners or laxatives are given. If there is diarrhoea that is causing faecal incontinence, antidiarrhoeal drugs like loperamide are prescribed. Consulting your doctor is always the best thing you can do to check what medicines can control your symptoms.

Kegel exercises

Kegel exercise

Kegel exercises are a technique that includes holding and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles to gain better control over them. You perform these exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. You can perform this exercise by yourself, or sometimes you may need your therapist to help you.

Studies have shown that Kegel exercises are an effective therapy option for controlling the symptoms of urinary incontinence. This therapy, however, helps prevent vaginal prolapse but cannot cure it. The exercises also provide biofeedback, which plays a crucial role in teaching you to hold and relax specific muscles. Incorporate kegels into your daily routine and strengthen your pelvic muscles. 

Bladder training

Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause you to lose bladder control, but you can regain it by training your bladder. This strategy involves setting a schedule to go to the bathroom. 

To train your bladder, you go to the bathroom at specific times and then gradually increase the time interval between each visit. This training is completed over months. This training aims to reduce your daily bathroom time to 2.5 to 3 hours. 

Vaginal pessary

You insert a vaginal pessary, a silicone or rubber medical device, into your vagina. It helps support organs in your pelvis, like the bladder or uterus, if they start to sag down. This might happen when your pelvic muscles get weak. The pessary holds everything in place, so you do not feel uncomfortable. It’s kind of like a little helper that keeps things where they should be inside her body.

Your healthcare provider will fit the pessary inside your vagina and also guide you on how to use and take care of it. 

Empower RF

Empower RF, made by InMode, is a modern solution for urinary incontinence that works. It uses radiofrequency technology to target what’s causing the problem and give long-lasting relief. This treatment isn’t surgery, it gently heats the area to boost collagen and make the pelvic muscles stronger. By doing this, Empower RF helps you control your bladder better and reduces leaks. Plus, it’s safe, comfortable, and won’t keep you down for long, so you can get back to your normal activities quickly.

Surgical Approaches

Sometimes, when conservative treatments do not work, surgery can be the answer to ‘What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders?’ 

Most surgeries don’t require an overnight hospital stay, allowing you to return home the same day.

The surgical interventions for pelvic floor disorders include the following:

Midurethral sling

Your doctor may recommend this surgical approach because your urine leaks during physical activity or while sneezing or coughing. This procedure is also known as a bladder sling. The doctor typically performs this surgery through the vagina, making two small incisions near your inner thigh or pubic hair area. Then, they put a tiny strap or material (called surgical mesh) underneath the urethra, which is the bladder’s opening. This helps support the bladder’s opening and stops urine leakage.

Sacral colpopexy

When your uterus or vagina has bulged and is causing discomfort, you choose this specific pelvic floor dysfunction therapy option. “Colpo” comes from “colporrhaphy,” meaning repairing the vagina, and “pexy” means supporting or fixing. 

Your doctor may perform this procedure by cutting into your abdominal area or via laparoscopy. After making cuts, a strap or tape (surgical mesh) is used to suspend and fix your vagina back in its original place. Vaginal prolapse is treated this way.

Uterosacral suspension

It is another surgical option to fix the vaginal or uterine prolapse. Your doctor may recommend a uterosacral suspension surgery. You will not see any scars on your body, as it is done through the vaginal opening. Your doctor might also perform it using laparoscopy or a robot. During the surgery, they use stitches or sutures to attach your vagina to special ligaments in your pelvis called uterosacral ligaments. This procedure holds your vagina in place. It’s like giving your vagina a gentle push to keep it where it should be.

Sacral nerve stimulation

This is another minimally invasive surgery to treat your urge incontinence. Your sacral nerve controls the function of your bladder, urinary sphincter, and pelvic floor muscles. During this procedure, your doctor stimulates this nerve electrically to enhance control. This procedure is effective and outpatient, allowing you to return home on the same day as the surgery.

Summary

Urinary incontinence, vaginal bulging, and heaviness compromise the quality of life. But what are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders? There are various treatment options available. Changing what you eat and how you move can make a big difference. 

Sometimes, medicines or special exercises can also help. If these don’t fix things, a doctor might suggest a small operation. They might put in something like a sling or use a special machine to help enhance the function of your nerves. Talking with a doctor is super important to figure out what’s best for you. Stay informed and empowered in your journey towards pelvic floor health

FAQs:

What are the treatment options for pelvic floor disorders in women?

The available treatment options include some lifestyle modifications like exercising, managing stress and losing weight. Non-surgical options include training your bladder and kegel exercises; however, there are surgical options available that strap the pelvic floor internally to hold the organs in place. 

How do you treat the pelvic floor naturally?


You must make your core strong to treat the pelvic floor naturally. Add exercises to your daily routine, like yoga and pilates, to improve your core strength. 

What are the symptoms of weak pelvic floor in females?

The following are some symptoms of a weak pelvic floor in females:

Leaking urine during coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
Not reaching the toilet in time
Reduced sensation in the vagina
Tampons dislodging or falling out
The bulge at the vaginal opening

Further Readings:

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