Pelvic floor dysfunction consists of a wide range of problems that arise when the pelvic floor musculature does not function properly.
The muscles in this region must support the various organs located in the pelvic cavity, such as the bladder, prostate, rectum and female reproductive organs. In addition, they are also related to the functioning of the urinary and anal sphincters. Thus, changes in the pelvic musculature can result in urinary and intestinal dysfunctions.
The dysfunction of the pelvic floor originates from an injury to the nerves of the pelvis muscles, which can be caused by certain factors such as: obesity, surgery, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Some individuals are apparently more likely to develop this dysfunction due to hereditary factors or their type of collagen.
The clinical manifestations that can appear when there is dysfunction of the pelvic floor involve:
- Sensation of incomplete emptying of the rectum, which can cause fecal incontinence, due to the repetitive effort to eliminate feces still present in the rectum;
- Prolapse of Organs pelvic organs;
- Urinary incontinence;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Chronic pains (such as vulvodynia)
The diagnosis of this condition is complicated, since there is no specific exam to diagnose this condition. However, this should be done based on a thorough analysis of the patient’s history and clinical presentation, along with a physical examination.
Treatment can be done in different ways:
- Biofeedback: it is the most common therapy in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. This is performed with the help of a physiotherapist, it is not painful, and it is effective in approximately 75% of cases.
- Medication: muscle relaxants may be prescribed.
- Relaxation techniques: involves hot baths, yoga and exercises.
- Surgery: When the doctor determines that the pelvic floor dysfunction results from a rectocele or rectal prolapse, surgery may be necessary.