How do I know if I have pelvic floor dysfunction???
In Part 1 of this blog series we covered the first 4 clues of discovering if you have pelvic floor dysfunction. Today we will cover the last 5 clues.
Clue 5: Fecal Staining or Incontinence
Do you have fecal staining or fecal incontinence? If you are unable to hold your bowels when you need to, this is a clear sign of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. This type of incontinence is much more common for women who have had a third or fourth degree tear during childbirth. Some women choose to have these muscles evaluated after they’ve had these tears, they do this to prevent further problems and support healing.
Clue 6: Painful Intercourse
Do you have painful intercourse? There are many possible causes for painful intercourse, and not all of them are related to pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Sometimes you are dealing with endometriosis, or skin conditions, or hormone deficiencies that cause painful intercourse.
Start with getting these 2 things checked out:
- Have you had the skin evaluated by your physician?
- Have you had your hormones checked?
If you have checked both of these and found they are not the problem or received treatment then it could likely be pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. (Please note, even if you have been diagnosed with endometriosis or a vulvar skin condition, pelvic floor therapy may also be needed in conjunction with the physician’s treatment to allow for pain free intercourse.)
I have seen many women who deal with painful intercourse after they’ve had a C-section, or a traumatic vaginal delivery. Both of these situations can cause muscle tightness, which leads to pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Some women and men have painful intercourse after infections. The bladder infection may have resolved, but the pain continues.
I have also seen many many women who have ALWAYS experienced painful intercourse, even if they have never had children.
Clue 7: Lack of Orgasm
Do you experience lack of orgasm? Clinically this is called anorgasma. The pelvic floor muscles are tight enough that they can never fully relax and it can cause an inability to orgasm.
Conversely if pelvic floor muscles are not strong enough for a good contraction, they will also be unable to contribute to orgasm.
Clue 8: Frequent Urination
Do you urinate frequently? Normally, a person will go to the bathroom five to 8 times a day.
Obviously, there are going to be days where you go a little more often…if you drink a lot more water versus days you’re not drinking very much water you may not go as frequently.
However, if you are drinking a fairly normal amount of water and are going to the bathroom more than every 2 hours, you are very likely to have a pelvic floor muscle condition.
Sometimes, people have what is called an overactive bladder. In this case it is actually the muscles of the bladder themselves that are causing the issue. This may need medication, but can also be treated in the clinic with electrical stimulation without the side effects of the medication.
Consider keeping a journal to get a clear picture of what is going on.
Clue 9: It Feels like Everything is Falling Out
Does it feel like everything is falling out? This is also called prolapse.
It is very common for women to say it feels like my bladder is falling out. Or it feels like something is falling out. People will often describe a feeling of heaviness when they stand up, or when they stand for a long time.
To be clear, this is not technically a pelvic floor muscle issue. It’s actually an issue with the ligaments themselves. However, treating the pelvic floor muscles can provide additional support to this area. And in many cases this can prevent surgery.
Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is still so often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Please help us share this message so we can help more people!
Questions? Give me a call 816-607-3747 or message me. I’m always happy to chat.