Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are impaired and no longer support our pelvic organs as well as they should. As a result, individuals may experience bladder incontinence, bowel incontinence, urgency and frequency, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain*, and sexual dysfunction. Pelvic floor dysfunction does not discriminate between males and females, even if it is more prevalent in females.
A multitude of lifestyle factors can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, including pregnancy, regular constipation and digestive issues, menopause, high intensity sport, stress, and general biomechanical dysfunction. We can also identify disfunction after a c-section, hysterectomies, radical prostatectomies, sex reassignment surgery, radiation of the abdominal wall and pelvic floor as part of cancer treatment, sexual trauma, as well any other pelvic floor trauma.
Quick Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Facts:
- It is estimated that about 26% of all women between the ages of 30 and 59 have problems with urine leakage
- Pelvic pain costs the health care system in Canada about 25 million dollars per year, which does not account for non-hospital related costs. Common descriptors of pelvic pain include dysmenorrhea (painful periods), dyspareunia (pain with vaginal insertion), and perineal pain.
- Pelvic pain is also often underdiagnosed as health care professionals are not familiar with vulvo-vaginal disorders and gynecological exams are not routinely performed.
- There is an 8-11 years delay between onset of symptoms of endometriosis and a diagnosis.
- Adolescents with symptoms of endometriosis are 10x as likely to miss school, and it is linked to decreased social and economic participation, as well as mental health concerns.
- 10-15% of the male population suffers Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain syndrome
What does pelvic floor dysfunction look like?
You might have pelvic floor dysfunction if you present with any of the following:
- “dribbling” when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or exercise
- Urgency to urinate so strong you can’t control it (i.e. your pants don’t make off enough when you go pee)
- Urinating more than 8-10 times a day
- Waking at night to urinate
- Difficulty emptying your bladder or starting the flow of urine
- Pain in or around the pelvis
- Feeling of pressure “down there”
- Low back, hip or tailbone pain
- Difficulty having bowel movements
- Pain with intercourse or insertion
- Painful periods