The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located in the lower torso, at the bottom (or floor) of your pelvis. These muscles wrap around the pelvic bone and provide additional mechanical support to pelvic organs, as well as coordinate bladder control and bowel movements through their contraction and relaxation. The pelvic floor also maintains some of the functions of the sex organs. When these muscles fail to function properly, women may experience pain when having sexual intercourse, while men may struggle to maintain an erection. However, the main symptoms of this failure have to do with bladder and bowel control. Without proper relaxation and contraction of pelvic floor muscles, one may suffer from urinary incontinence as well as other pelvic issues. This condition is known as pelvic floor dysfunction.
If you believe you may have pelvic floor dysfunction, we suggest you consult a professional immediately. If you live in Lahore, you may want to check out these urologist in Lahore.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
The primary known causes of the condition include obesity, pregnancy, and menopause. The first two factors weaken the muscles by putting excess strain on them, rendering the muscles unable to contract properly. Other factors include:
- Trauma (direct impact our wounding to the pelvis)
- Age (as with any other muscle, pelvic floor muscles deteriorate over the years)
- Surgery-sustained pelvic damage
- Straining the pelvic floor muscles through exercise or working them too much by going to the bathroom too often
- Interstitial cystitis
A number of issues may arise if you have pelvic floor dysfunction, as many organs rely on its proper functioning. These symptoms include:
- Urinary incontinence, or frequent usage of the bathroom
- Weak urinary stream, or difficulty in starting to urinate
- Pain during urination
- Pain in the pelvic region, whether or not you are having a bowel movement or have a full bladder
- Difficulty in maintaining a bowel movement or excreting stool
- Pain in the lower back area
- Many men who suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction also suffer from prostatitis, which is an inflammation or infection of the prostate
How is it Diagnosed?
After the initial questioning period from your physician, patients may then be directed to have a physical exam done, where the strength of your muscles will be examined. You may also have to undergo an intrarectal exam.
Some of the follow-up tests include:
- Uroflow Test: This test measures how quickly you can empty your bladder, as well as the strength of your urinary stream.
- Defecating Proctogram: This test is used to monitor the strength of your pelvic muscles when trying to pass a bowel movement. This is done by pushing a thick liquid up into the colon. This liquid prevents X-rays from passing through it, thereby showing us its movement as the patient attempts to pass it out when examined through the use of X-rays.
- Electromyography: This test uses surface electrodes adhered to your skin to measure the electrical signals given off by contracting and relaxing pelvic muscles. This is especially useful if you do not wish to have an invasive exam conducted.
If you wish to undergo any of these tests, you should consult a professional before opting for these, as initial surface level exams can give you a pretty good indication of whether or not you need further exams conducted. Here are some great urologist in Karachi, if you need services in that city.