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Urogynecology: Combating Pelvic Floor Disorders with Advanced Treatments

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The pelvic floor is a muscular, hammock-like structure that supports the bladder, uterus, rectum, and small intestine. When these muscles weaken or become damaged, a variety of pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) can result.

These conditions can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Fortunately, the field of urogynecology offers a wide range of treatment options for PFDs. Join us as we explore some of the latest advancements in urogynecological care.

Understanding Pelvic Floor Disorders

PFDs affect millions of women worldwide. Here’s a closer look at some common PFDs.

  • Urinary Incontinence:The involuntary leakage of urine, urinary incontinence ranges from occasional dribbling to a complete loss of bladder control.
  • Fecal Incontinence:The inability to control bowel movements leads to involuntary stool leakage.
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse:When the pelvic floor muscles weaken, organs such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum may descend (prolapse) into the vagina. Patients experience pain and discomfort.
  • Sexual Dysfunction:PFDs can contribute to various sexual problems, including pain during intercourse, difficulty achieving orgasm, and decreased libido.

Recommended Read: Signs of Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women

Risk Factors and Early Detection

While PFDs are more common with age and among women who’ve given birth, other factors can increase the risk, such as:

  • Chronic Cough or Straining.Activities that put stress on the pelvic floor muscles can contribute to weakening.
  • Excess weight can place additional strain on the pelvic floor.
  • Smoking can weaken connective tissues and decrease blood flow to the pelvic floor.
  • History of pelvic surgery.Prior surgeries in the pelvic region can increase susceptibility to PFDs.

Early detection and intervention are essential for managing PFDs effectively. If you experience any symptoms, e.g., urinary leakage, pelvic pressure, or difficulty controlling bowel movements, consult a health care professional.

Traditional Treatment Approaches

Traditionally, pelvic floor disorders have been treated with a combination of the following:

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT).This involves learning to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles to improve strength and coordination.
  • Lifestyle Modifications.Weight management, dietary changes, and avoiding activities that strain the pelvic floor can be beneficial.
  • Bladder Retraining.This includes techniques to strengthen the bladder muscles and improve bladder control.
  • Medication can help manage symptoms such as urinary urgency or overactive bladder.

While these approaches remain valuable, advancements in urogynecological care offer more options for women seeking lasting solutions.

Advanced Treatment Options for PFDs

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  Urogynecology is at the forefront of developing minimally invasive and innovative treatments for pelvic floor disorders.

Here are some of the latest advancements.

  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures:Procedures such as laparoscopy or robotic-assisted surgery offer a less invasive approach to surgically correct pelvic organ prolapse or address other structural issues.
  • Pelvic Floor Restorative Procedures:These procedures utilize various techniques to tighten and support the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments.
  • Neuromodulation:Electrical stimulation of specific nerves can help regulate bladder function and manage urinary incontinence.
  • Bulking Agents:Injectable materials can be used to bulk up tissues around the urethra for improved urinary control.

The optimal treatment approach depends on the specific PFD a woman is experiencing and her overall health. A urogynecologist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the most suitable treatment plan.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital: Your Partner in Pelvic Health

At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the challenges faced by women with pelvic floor disorders. Our team of highly skilled and experienced urogynecologists offers a comprehensive approach to pelvic health care. We utilize the latest advancements in diagnosis and treatment to provide personalized solutions for each patient. Learn more by visiting our Urogynecology page. Then scroll down to find a urogynocologist who’s right for you.

We also specialize in back surgery, knee surgery, physical therapy, neurosurgery, upper back pain treatment, medical imaging and hip replacement surgery in Webster, Texas.