Pelvic Floor dysfunction includes a group of disorders that cause problems with the muscles that wrap around multiple organs including the bowel, bladder, rectum as well as the uterus and vagina (women) and prostate (men).
Anal pelvic floor conditions (seen by a colorectal surgeon) are separate to vaginal pelvic floor conditions which are often seen by a gynaecologist or urogynaecologist.
Some patients will be unlucky enough to experience both conditions and some doctors treat both – so always ask us if you are unsure.
Dr Ellis Clark does NOT treat vaginal pelvic floor issues.
- Frequently needing to use the bathroom
- Constipation or straining during bowel movements.
- Painful defaecation
- Back pain in the lower back with no other cause
- Ongoing pain in the pelvic region, rectum or genitals
- Trouble evacuating the bowels
- Feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels
- Feeling of prolapse through the anus
Pelvic floor conditions are generally exacerbated by:
- Pregnancy and deliveries
- Genetics and family history
- Advancing age
- Trauma such as a car accident
- Surgery to pelvic floor
- Pelvic floor conditions are often treated non-surgically with biofeedback training, which provides auditory and visual feedback to help retrain the pelvic floor and relax the anal sphincter.
- Biofeedback done with a physical therapist is not painful and helps the overwhelming majority of people with anal pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Medications such as stool softeners may be used
- Relaxation techniques are also important
- Surgery may be considered if appropriate to assist, or if obvious external rectal prolapse is identified.