Pelvic Floor Disorders

Posted by Puteri | 5/15/2008 09:56:00 AM | 0 comments »

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Incontinence and other disorders of the pelvic organs can take a toll on a woman's sex life, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 300 women age 40 and older, those with symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder were more likely to have a diminished libido, pain during sex, or problems reaching orgasm.

Pelvic floor disorders refer to problems with a woman's pelvic organs -- the uterus, bladder and rectum -- and the muscles and connective tissue that support them. Among the most common of these are urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, where weakened muscles and supporting tissue allow one or more pelvic organs to drop down and protrude into the vagina.

Some symptoms of prolapse include pressure in the vagina, pain in the lower abdomen or lower back, and chronic constipation.

According to this news story about a third of US women have at least one type of pelvic floor disorder.

There are non-surgical treatments that are able to reduce the pain and pressure caused by a pelvic floor disorder. Making lifestyle changes, doing exercises, and/or using a removable device called a pessary that is placed into the vagina to support areas of prolapse are just some of the treatments.

For more serious cases of pelvic disorders where there is pain or interferes with sexual activity and bowel and bladder function, surgical procedures are recommended. These include repair of the supporting tissue of the prolapsed organ or vagina wall and/or the removal of the uterus when it is the prolapsed organ or if it is causing the prolapse of other organs (such as the vagina).

Unfortunately, surgery cannot repair all the prolapsed organs and sometimes pelvic organ prolapse recurs after surgery.

Further reading:

Pelvic Organ Prolapse - Treatment Overview