Women can present with a number of different conditions relating to their pelvis and pelvic floor. For example, women that have a prolapse may also have noticed bladder or bowel symptoms or may also have a history of low back pain. The pelvis and pelvic floor are intrinsically linked with the lower back, hips as well as how we breath. For example, in strengthening their pelvic floor women may also notice their back pain resolves or becomes much more manageable. The conditions listed here can occur at any time in a women's life and are treatable at any stage.
Bladder problems can include leaking with coughing, sneezing or exercise; not getting to the toilet on time, and needing to empty the bladder with increased frequency or urgency. One in three women will experience leaks of urine after giving birth, but they can also occur in women who have not had children, especially later in life. Sadly, the lack of information around this problem means many women accept this as normal. On the contrary, neither normal nor difficult to treat, more than 80% of women will stop leaking after attending physiotherapy.
Bowel problems can include leaks of faeces, a sudden urgency to pass a stool or constipation. One in ten women will suffer from leaks of faeces after having a baby, which can have a devestating effect on physical and mental health. Sadly this is a common condition, but it is not normal and help is available. Physiotherapy will decipher the cause and devise a treatment plan that will improve or eliminate the leaks.
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
Pelvic organ prolapse means the pelvic organs (bladder, womb and bowel), which are supported by the pelvic floor muscles, are leaning into the vagina or vaginal walls. Pelvic organ prolapse is an under-recognised condition and symptoms include dragging, heaviness or a sensation of a bulge in the vagina. It is experienced by one in three women after having a baby but can also occur in women that have not had a baby. Some women notice prolapse symptoms during the peri-menopause and beyond as the resulting reduction of oestrogen can thin the vaginal tissues.
The information on pelvic organ prolapse available online can be conflicting and confusing. It can make women fear movement and activities, and negatively affect their mental health. Women’s Physiotherapy Reigate provides a full assessment of the prolapse and expert guidance so women can fully understand and manage their prolapse and return to the hobbies and sports they enjoy without anxiety.
Painful intercourse is a debilitating condition with a variety of causes. For instance, the muscles of the pelvic floor may be overactive and struggle to relax. Due to the different potential causes, these need to be assessed first and the appropriate management given to resolve the problem.