Do you suffer from incontinence (bladder control problems), chronic constipation, or fecal incontinence (bowel control problems)? These and similar conditions affect millions of women, yet many do not seek treatment. Contrary to common misconceptions, bowel and bladder problems are neither untreatable, nor a "normal" side effect of aging. Help is available from a specialized health care provider, such as an OB/GYN or urological services. Katy, TX, women trust their health to the expertise and compassion of Taryll Jenkins.
One of the most common causes of bowel and bladder problems is pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). The pelvic floor, also called the pelvic diaphragm, consists of several muscles spanning the underneath of the pelvis. These muscles support the pelvic organs, including rectum, reproductive organs, and bladder.
PFD involves muscles that are too weak, or unable to relax. Either way interrupts the synchronized muscle movements needed for proper bowel and urinary functioning. It is caused by damage to the muscles or nerves in the pelvic floor. Risk factors for PFD include obesity, pregnancy, vaginal childbirth, and past surgeries; however, the cause is often unknown.
The possible effects of PFD include:
- Dyssynergic defecation – A condition causing chronic constipation, often accompanied by bloating and hard stools
- Passive fecal incontinence – Unknowingly passing stool
- Urge fecal incontinence – Sudden urge to pass stool, often accompanied by leakage
- Urinary problems – Leakage, burning sensation, frequent urination
- Chronic pain – Frequent vaginal, abdominal, or lower back pain
- Pelvic organ prolapse – When the muscles supporting pelvic organs are weakened, those organs can prolapse, which means slip out of place. A prolapsed bladder (known as cystocele) bulges into the vagina. It can cause discomfort with physical strain, frequent bladder infections, and pain or leaking urine during sex.
Treatment for PFD varies greatly. There are several non-surgical or minimally invasive treatment options. In some cases, dietary or lifestyle changes may be effective. Physical therapy can often condition the afflicted muscles without a medical procedure. If surgery is needed, Dr. Jenkins uses advanced laparoscopic technology for conservative treatment, with precision accuracy.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms listed here, or have any other health concerns, call Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine at 855-346-8610, and schedule an appointment. Dr. Jenkins and his dedicated staff will always treat you with respect and kindness, while providing unparalleled quality care.
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