The end-to-end care of your pelvic health is not the domain of any single practitioner. While a urologist will treat incontinence issues, sexual dysfunction, and sciatica, sports physical therapists at the pelvic health and rehabilitation center can address low-back pain and sciatica. A perimenopause guide can address pelvic health issues, though symptoms may overlap. A complete guide to caring for your pelvic health should include information for all phases of menopause.

Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor

There are several different ways to strengthen the pelvic floor. The exercises can be done in various positions, such as sitting or lying down. You can integrate these exercises into your daily routine to get the best results. Generally, pelvic floor exercises involve 8 to 12 contractions a day, three times a day. Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, you may need to continue the exercises for eight to twenty weeks.

A common pelvic floor exercise involves the bridge. It involves lifting your buttocks while maintaining a normal breathing pattern. You can repeat this exercise for up to eight sets and up to ten times per set. For optimal results, do this exercise twice daily. If you're uncomfortable with this exercise, you can add more repetitions and make the exercise more challenging. To improve the results, start with a short set of three sets of 10 repetitions and then progress to the next level.

Another pelvic floor exercise involves lying flat on the floor. Your feet should be at least one-inch wider than your shoulders, and your toes should be pointed outwards. Bend your knees while pushing your hips backward. Do as many as you can comfortably do before increasing the number of repetitions. Several repetitions a day should be enough to notice a difference. If you feel discomfort while doing these exercises, you may not have enough core strength.

Diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders

While pelvic floor disorders are relatively benign, their symptoms can greatly impact a woman's quality of life. Because these disorders often do not have serious consequences, their prevalence is probably higher than most people think. Diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders can be made through physical examination and medical history, and treatments for pelvic floor disorders are available to alleviate their symptoms. Abnormal biomechanics can result in muscle contraction and relaxation changes that result in myofascial pain.

A medical doctor will use defecography to evaluate rectal emptying and relaxation and may recommend biofeedback to improve muscle strength and control. This test can also visualize a rectocele or enterocele. In addition, the pelvic floor muscles may be manually manipulated to achieve voluntary contractions. If this doesn't work, physical therapy can effectively treat pelvic floor disorders.

In this study, investigators will evaluate pelvic floor disorders' prevalence among gynecologic malignancies, and survivors. The lack of awareness about pelvic floor disorders could negatively impact the quality of life of gynecologic cancer survivors. This study will include women with gynecologic cancer and mail them questionnaires for pelvic floor disorder diagnosis. The results of this study will help practitioners develop guidelines for screening and treating pelvic floor disorders in their practice.

Treatment options

Pelvic health disorders are common among women and affect approximately one in three. These issues can lead to social isolation, sexual inhibition, and career plans. Unfortunately, many women don't seek treatment for pelvic health problems because they believe they must live with them. The fact is, however, that pelvic health problems can be treated. 

Physical therapy is one treatment option available for pelvic health issues. Exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can improve bladder control, sex, and even orgasms. Pelvic floor physical therapy can also help relieve pelvic pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse. During exercises, pelvic floor therapists can also apply pressure on trigger points on the pelvic floor to help alleviate symptoms. This is an excellent option for women who are experiencing pelvic health problems.

While undergoing physical therapy is the first line of treatment for pelvic floor disorders, surgical repair is often necessary. Many of these procedures can be performed as outpatient procedures, making them a safe and convenient option for some women. During your initial appointment, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and answer any questions. If surgery is required, your surgeon will explain the process and recommend the best course of action. If you decide to undergo surgery, they will also follow up to ensure your surgery is successful and that you're satisfied with the results.