Pelvic floor disorders are a common problem in adult women, with an estimated prevalence of up to 30%.1,2 These disorders can cause a variety of symptoms, including urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction.3,4 Pelvic floor disorders are often under-diagnosed and under-treated, due in part to the lack of awareness among both patients and providers.5
There are several risk factors associated with pelvic floor disorders, including pregnancy and childbirth, obesity, and aging.6,7 Women who have had multiple births or who are obese are at particularly high risk.8,9 Other risk factors include family history, smoking, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.10
Pelvic floor disorders can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life.11,12 Urinary incontinence, for example, can lead to social isolation and embarrassment, while pelvic pain can interfere with daily activities and sexual intercourse.13,14 Treatment of pelvic floor disorders is important, not only for symptom relief, but also to improve quality of life and prevent further progression of the disorder.15
There are a variety of treatment options available for pelvic floor disorders, including lifestyle changes, pelvic floor muscle exercises, medications, and surgery.16,17 The type of treatment recommended will depend on the individual patient, the severity of her symptoms, and the underlying cause of the disorder.18,19
If you are experiencing any symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder, it is important to see your healthcare provider for an evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve symptoms and prevent further progression of the disorder.