The pelvic floor is a set of muscles spread across the bottom of the pelvic cavity like a hammock. These muscles can weaken as a result of a number of reasons:
- pregnancy and childbirth
- frequent heavy lifting
- recurrent strain from bowel movements
- chronic cough
- hormonal changes, such as menopause
Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to involuntary leakage of urine or bowel, and to pelvic organ prolapse.
Treatment for pelvic floor conditions supports your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, specifically the ligaments and muscles supporting the uterus and vaginal walls.
This type of treatment helps you withstand increases in pressure from coughing, sneezing, laughing, straining and lifting. Additional benefits may include increased sexual response and reduced lower back pain, hip pain or lower extremity pain.
Our comprehensive Urostym program provides complete care for weakened pelvic muscles.
The program starts with an evaluation of the strength of your pelvic floor through two tests:
Anorectal manometry uses small sensors to monitor as you tighten specific muscles.
Electromyography (EMG) is a diagnostic procedure that assesses the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them.
These tests help us understand your baseline pelvic floor status and endurance, so we can prescribe a targeted and individualized treatment program.
Your first visit will take approximately one hour. We will review your health history, treatment goals, and assess your two-day voiding diary and pelvic floor inventory questionnaire.
The Urostym program will then determine an effective course of treatment.
Treatment usually includes exercises to maintain the strength, tone and elasticity of the pelvic floor along with biofeedback, electrical muscle stimulation and behavioral modifications.
You may be guided in the proper performance of Kegel exercises and fast twitch exercises.
Pelvic floor biofeedback helps strengthen and relax your pelvic floor muscles by measuring muscle activity. This activity is displayed as a visual graph that gives you immediate feedback on the cues for contracting and relaxing the muscles.
Muscle stimulation is used for strengthening as well as to support muscle re-education and rehabilitation of weak pelvic floor muscles so that nerves and muscles will better respond to therapy.
For certain bladder symptoms, behavior modification is the final component of our program, and includes work to retrain the bladder to hold larger volumes of urine.
This treatment also includes a review of common dietary bladder irritants to determine if dietary changes will result in a decrease in bothersome bladder symptoms.
Seventy five to eighty percent of the women we see have significant improvement or cure with this type of therapy alone.
We recommend appointments every week to start, with an average of six to eight visits in total.
Improvements should be seen in three to four visits if this therapy is going to be successful for you.
Pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, consist of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor as part of a treatment for incontinence and other pelvic floor issues.
In medicine, prolapse is a condition where organs, such as the uterus, fall down or slip out of place. It is used for organs protruding through the vagina or the rectum.
Stress incontinence is urinary incontinence/leakage with activity. Some common symptoms are:
- Leaking with coughing
- Leaking with laughing
- Leaking with sneezing
- Leaking with exercise