Treating Pelvic Health Problems
Pelvic health problems affect almost one-quarter of women, and the incidence increases with age. Most women leave pelvic health issues to their general OB/GYN. But in fact, complete diagnosis of these issues is complex, and sometimes can only be fully addressed by a specialist known as a Urogynecologist: an OB/GYN who is certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Female Pelvic Medicine and Reproductive Medicine (FPMRS).
Cherokee Women’s Health is the only Southeast OB/GYN practice with three physicians double board-certified in Female Pelvic Medicine, drawing in women from all over the country – 27 states in 2018! Cherokee Women’s is THE resource in the Southeast for women with pelvic health issues – before, during, and long past the child-bearing years.
What is Pelvic Health?
Pelvic health includes the functioning of every organ and structure in the pelvis, and encompasses four broad categories:
- 1. Normal functioning of the bladder, and the portion of the digestive system that includes the bowel and rectum.
- 2. Well-supported reproductive organs. A woman with good pelvic health will have no uncomfortable feeling of sagging, “falling,” or pressure.
- 3. No significant pain or dysfunction in the pelvic area, whether from aging, childbirth or past injuries due to surgeries or accidents.
- 4. Good sexual function and sensation.
The key foundation for pelvic health is the “pelvic floor” — a versatile set of muscles that works 24/7, supporting the uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder and rectum.
Almost one-quarter of women face pelvic floor disorders. Certain risk factors indicate that a woman should be on the lookout for needing further diagnosis and treatment.
Pelvic Health Risk Factors
Childbirth puts excessive strain on the pelvic area during delivery.
Pelvic floor muscles weaken in menopause, leading to pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
Having a mother or sister with PFD (Pelvic Floor Disorder) puts a woman at higher risk for developing pelvic health problems. Caucasian women are more likely to develop prolapse and to have bladder leakage. African American women are more likely to have leakage related to urgency.
Overweight or obese women have increased pressure on the bladder and frequently lack strength in their bladder muscles
Other risk factors include:
- Constipation/Chronic Straining
- Heavy Lifting/Exertion
- Lung Conditions/Chronic Coughing
- Nerve Injuries
- Other Health Conditions
Treatments can include medications, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, noninvasive procedures or pelvic reconstructive surgery.
If you experience problems with bladder or fecal leakage, pelvic pain, the sensation of your insides ”falling down,” or impaired sexual function, seek treatment from a specialist in pelvic health: a board-certified Urogynecologist in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Specialist (FPMRS). Call us today at 770.720.7733.