A pelvic floor disorder is a result of weakened or damaged pelvic muscles, which cause several uncomfortable symptoms.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be a difficult condition to live with, but there are treatments available that can help to improve the symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with this condition, please contact us for information.
At Lotus Medics, we offer our patients in Orange, Parkes and Bathurst numerous pelvic floor disorder treatment options.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition in which the muscles of the pelvic floor become weak, tight, or uncoordinated, leading to problems with bladder, bowel, and/or sexual function.
A pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that support the pelvic region and organs, such as the bladder, rectum and uterus/vagina in women and the prostate in men. When these muscles and ligaments are weakened or damaged, it can lead to difficulties in having a bowel movement or even long-term damage.
Pelvic floor disorder can affect both men and women although it is statistically more common in women.
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
Several different factors can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. Childbirth is one of the most common causes, as the process of delivering a baby can weaken the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor.
Other causes can include:
- Surgery or trauma in the pelvic region
- Chronic straining factors like constipation, chronic coughing, etc
- Being overweight or obese
- Muscle tension
- Hormonal imbalances
- Neurological conditions
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction
The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can vary depending upon the underlying cause, but there are some common symptoms that are associated with the condition.
These can include
- urinary incontinence – difficulty controlling urination
- difficulty urinating – incomplete urination/double voiding,
- faecal incontinence – difficulty controlling bowel movements
- pain during sex
- lower back pain
- chronic pelvic pain – this is usually a dull ache
- bulge down below causing a dragging sensation, difficulty in walking, etc.
Menopause can also contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, as the decline in estrogen levels can cause the muscles and tissues of the pelvic floor to weaken.
Types of pelvic floor dysfunction
Pelvic organ prolapse
This is when one or more of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, rectum) fall into or out of their normal positions, often due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. These organs usually extrude through deficiency in the vaginal wall either front, top or back.
This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to control the bladder, leading to urine leakage.
This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to control the rectum, leading to stool leakage.
Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak or too tight, leading to pain, pressure, or discomfort during physical activities.
Pelvic floor myofascial pain
This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become too tight and cause pain in the pelvic area.
Urinary incontinence can be a symptom of a pelvic floor disorder and may require treatment
How much does pelvic floor dysfunction treatment cost?
The cost of pelvic floor dysfunction treatment at our Orange, Parkes and Bathurst practices will largely depend on the severity of your condition.
We will conduct a thorough examination at your initial consultation and establish the best way forward, and a detailed no-obligation quote will be provided for you to consider.
Treatment options for
pelvic floor dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction is generally treatable and there are many different treatment options available. The type of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the condition and the severity of the symptoms.
Doctors may initially treat these conditions with the following non-surgical treatment options first.
This involves using the bathroom on a set schedule to regain bladder control and applying techniques to overcome inappropriate urges to urinate. The end goal is to urinate only every 2.5 to 3 hours. You may be referred to an incontinence nurse to help you achieve this.
Pelvic floor muscle training
Often referred to as Kegel exercises, Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) involves contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles. When performed correctly and on a regular basis, it may help reduce the symptoms of urinary incontinence and prolapse. However, PFMT cannot repair the prolapse. You may be referred to/may have already seen a physiotherapist with a special interest in the pelvic floor.
Medications may also be prescribed to treat certain bladder or bowel control issues like incontinence, constipation, etc.
This device, made of plastic/silicone, is designed to treat prolapse. It can also be beneficial in improving bladder control. A healthcare provider will insert the pessary into the vagina of a female patient to provide support to the pelvic organs.
To ensure the most comfortable shape and size, a physician will fit the pessary to the woman and teach her how to use and take care of it.
Pessaries need to be changed at least every 3-6 months by your practitioner. If they are too loose, they may be expelled or if they are too tight they may cause discomfort-hence correct sizing of the pessary may be required in the beginning. Pessaries can also cause vaginal discharge and ulceration due to friction and hence require vaginal care.
If doctors have recommended non-surgical treatments, and they have not been successful, or if surgical treatment is recommended the following options are available.
Surgery involves repairing the prolapse and restoring a well-supported pelvic floor.
The general principle of surgery is to repair the deficit in the pelvic floor – also called Site-specific repair. This may involve the repair of one or more compartments as per the involvement and severity of pelvic organ prolapse.
This is usually done using the patient’s native tissue. At the time of writing Dr Kotasthane does not use synthetic or external mesh products for prolapse repair(although research is on to find the “ideal” scaffold to support the pelvic floor tissues in case of weakened tissues).
Women with uterine prolapse may also, sometimes need to have a hysterectomy. Additionally, some women may also need surgery to address or prevent bladder control issues/incontinence-this may either be done as a separate procedure or concomitantly with the prolapse surgery.
Bladder control problems
Surgery is a highly effective treatment for stress incontinence, a type of urinary leakage caused by an activity such as coughing, sneezing, or exercising. This occurs when the exertion squeezes the bladder, and the weakened support around the urethra causes urine to leak out.
The most common type of surgery used is a mid-urethral sling, in which the surgeon places material under the urethra to support it and prevent leakage.
Bowel control problems
Surgery may sometimes be necessary to repair a damaged anal sphincter muscle. Medications can also be injected into the sphincter, and a stimulator for the nerves that control the bowel can be implanted.
How can Lotus
At Lotus Medics, we understand that every person is different, each with a unique set of symptoms and causes and a unique body, and we offer a customised service to all our patients.
We have extensive experience with this condition and are committed to always putting the safety of our patients first.
Dr Sachin Kotasthane is committed to helping women suffering from pelvic floor disorders.
Meet Dr Sachin Kotasthane
Dr Sachin Kotasthane has extensive experience treating women suffering from pelvic floor disorders such as prolapse and incontinence. He is an experienced Obstetrician and Gynaecologist who trained in the UK across various specialised skills, including advanced Laparoscopy, Urogynaecology, Pelvic Ultrasound, High-risk Obstetrics and Menopause Management.
He worked as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Glasgow, then moved to Orange NSW, where he offers comprehensive women’s health advice, services and procedures.
Pelvic floor treatment locations
We are conveniently located at the following physical locations. Please contact us to book an appointment at the practice closest to you.
Bathurst Specialist Centre
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still require more information on pelvic floor dysfunction please read our most frequently asked questions.
Should you have more questions hereafter please feel free to contact us for clarification.
Medication can be prescribed to assist in managing the symptoms of this condition, such as laxatives to help keep the movement regular, and bladder medication for overactive bladder/urge incontinence. Medication is not prescribed as a cure for pelvic floor disorder.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated and, depending on the severity of the condition, it can take 3 to 6 months to see an improvement. Regular pelvic floor muscle training and modification of activity and lifestyle changes help in preventing a recurrence.
This condition, whilst not life-threatening, can significantly affect the quality of life and lead to bowel, bladder and possible sexual dysfunction. Treatment is tailored depending on the degree of affection of quality of life, the severity of prolapse, patient wishes and other medical and surgical condition affecting the patient.
There are a number of issues that can lead to urinary incontinence, such as a urinary tract infection and overuse or damage to the muscles that control urine flow.
A doctor may conduct a physical exam to diagnose a pelvic floor disorder. In some cases, further testing may be necessary, such as a pelvic floor ultrasound, MRI, cystoscopy, or colonoscopy.
Anything that puts weight or pressure on the pelvic floor can be a trigger. Childbirth is the most common factor which increases the risk for pelvic organ prolapse-big babies, long labours, and instrumental deliveries are particular predisposing factors. Factors such as weight, obesity, constipation, pushing or straining for a bowel movement, lifting heavy weights, and chronic coughing or sneezing are other factors that can either trigger or worsen prolapse and are also responsible for prolapse recurrence.
One of the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction is sexual dysfunction which can be either due to vaginal dryness, painful intercourse or other factors like decreased sexual arousal and difficulty experiencing orgasms. Discuss this with your doctor to ensure the correct treatment can be prescribed to assist with this.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor. A second opinion is also encouraged.