What is a Pelvic Floor Disorder?
The pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles and connective tissues in the base of the pelvis, providing support for the uterus, bladder, rectum and vaginal wall.
Pelvic floor disorders generally occur as a result of weakened pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue. Pelvic floor disorders can occur at any age. The symptoms usually present as women enter their 40s and 50s.
The symptoms include loss of urinary or bowel control and pressure or prolapse of the uterus and vagina wall.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Disorders?
The muscles and connective tissues around the base of the pelvis may weaken due to:
Aging – Pelvic floor muscles weaken as women age.
Genetic factors – Some women are born with risk of weaker muscles and connective tissues.
Pregnancy – Pregnancy and childbirth (whether through vaginal delivery or C-section) put a strain on the pelvic floor muscles and may result in injury.
Pressure on the pelvic floor – Obesity, heavy lifting and regular straining to have a bowel movement increase the stress on the pelvic floor may result in weakened muscles and connective tissue over time.
Surgery – A previous pelvic surgery can result in injury to the nerves, connective tissue or muscles and may put a woman at higher risk for development of pelvic floor disorders.