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Understanding Pelvic Floor Disorders in Women: Causes and Treatment

Pelvic floor disorders, or PFDs, are some of the most common issues affecting women, especially those who are older, have experienced childbirth, or suffer from injuries.

Some of these pelvic floor disorders in women can easily be managed through effective treatment and medical interventions, but in order to minimize their impact, you should understand what causes them.

Let’s take a closer look at these health conditions.

What causes pelvic floor disorders in women?

Pelvic floor disorders in women can be attributed to several factors:

  • Childbirth, which weakens the pelvic floor and causes issues like prolapse, incontinence, and more. The risk goes up for first-time mothers and women who deliver vaginally and due to the use of medical equipment like forceps and vacuums that add more pressure.
  • Pressure on the pelvic floor due to being overweight, poor posture, constipation and straining, smoking or lung diseases that lead to coughing, and carrying excessively heavy weights.
  • Genetic or natural factors like weak pelvic tissues or aging. Women who are born with weaker tissue are more prone to PFDs, as are women who are older and whose muscles have weakened.
  • Previous surgical intervention to correct prolapse, partial or complete hysterectomies, and having a history of complications.

A young mother works out with her daughter while performing a stretch on the floor.

How can you treat pelvic floor disorders and dysfunction?

Pelvic floor disorders and dysfunction in women can be treated through different medical procedures, including both surgical and non-surgical approaches. Some patients may require surgery to correct issues and complications in the cervix or pelvic floor, while others can manage through physical therapy, medication, and other modalities.

What lifestyle modifications can help you manage these issues?

Additionally, it’s also possible—and often necessary—to make lifestyle changes to manage and minimize PFDs. You can incorporate gentle exercises that target the pelvic floor, such as Kegel exercises and hip bridges. Getting massages and making dietary changes will also help minimize these issues.

Women need to recognize that pelvic floor disorders aren’t just a “normal” part of aging or having your body change. PFDs are incredibly treatable in most cases, but they require action and ownership on your part to successfully control them. Although it won’t be an easy journey, fortunately, most women overcome pelvic floor disorders through a combination of the treatments and modifications described above and support from experienced medical teams.

You can get treated for pelvic floor disorders affecting women at Friendswood Specialty Hospital. Our urogynecology department is home to some of Houston’s most skilled and compassionate gynecologists, who can help you manage and treat all kinds of women-related health conditions. Click here to find a gynecologist who’s right for you. We serve patients in Webster, Galveston, Clear Lake, and League City.