After a complete physical exam and review of any necessary diagnostic tests, your OB-GYN or urogynecologist will provide treatment recommendations.
Before considering surgery, our providers may advise you about lifestyle changes, such as developing better posture, regular physical activity and relaxation activities, all of which may improve pelvic floor function. We offer physical therapy to teach you specific exercises to improve pelvic muscle tone. UK HealthCare also provides nutritional guidance and information about effective, non-addictive pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy helps women with pelvic floor dysfunction find relief and manage ongoing pelvic pain. Before you begin therapy, you'll undergo a pelvic exam so your provider can assess your range of motion and determine your specific therapy plan. During a regular physical therapy appointment, your physical therapist may guide you through a set of exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscle training helps support the bladder, vagina and rectum. Other physical therapy options may include massage, electrical stimulation, acupuncture and acupressure. You will also receive education on exercises or management techniques to try at home.
Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery
When nonsurgical therapies do not help, your provider may recommend pelvic reconstructive surgery. The type of surgery used depends on your condition and symptoms. Women with prolapse, when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs weaken, can choose to have surgery to repair the prolapse and provide support to the pelvic floor. For bladder control problems, a surgeon can place material under the urethra to prevent urine leakage. Or, for women with bowel control problems, a procedure can be used to repair damaged anal muscles.
Discuss with your provider whether you are a candidate for pelvic reconstructive surgery. Your physician can share the advantages and disadvantages of a procedure and refer you to a specialist for more information.