What is it?

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common condition where a patient unable to correctly relax and coordinate the muscles in the pelvic floor to urinate or to have a bowel movement. for women, it may also hurt during sex, and for men it may cause problems having or keeping an erection.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Pelvic muscle wasting

Signs & symptoms

Several symptoms may be a sign that a patient have pelvic floor dysfunction:
* Frequently needing to use the bathroom.
* Constipation, or a straining pain during your bowel movements. It’s thought that up to half of people suffering long-term constipation also have pelvic floor dysfunction.
* Straining or pushing really hard to pass a bowel movement, or having to change positions on the toilet or use your hand to help eliminate stool.
* Leaking stool or urine (incontinence).
* Painful urination.
* Feeling pain in the lower back with no other cause.
* Feeling ongoing pain in the pelvic region, genitals or rectum- with or without a bowel movement.

Diagnosis

Your healthcare provider will usually start by asking about your symptoms and taking a careful medical history.
Your provider may also do a physical exam to test how well you can control your pelvic floor muscles. Using their hands, your provider will check for spasms, knots or weakness in these muscles. Your provider may also need to give you an intrarectal (inside the rectum) exam or vaginal exam.
Your provider may also be given other tests including:
* Surface electrodes
* Anorectal manometry
* Defecating proctogram
* Uroflow test

Treatment

Fortunately, pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated relatively easily in many cases. Non-surgical treatments include:
* Biofeedback.
* Pelvic floor physical therapy
* Medications: such as MiraLAX, Colace, Senna or generic stool softeners.
* Relaxation techniques

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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