By Dr. Mohan Krishna Raut, Gynaecology
The pelvic floor is a collection of ligaments, muscles and tissues that provide support to the various organs in the pelvic region. The organs in the pelvic region include the uterus, bladder, rectum and prostate. Bladder and bowel movements in the body occur due to contraction and relaxation of these muscles.
Disorders of the pelvic floor include prolapse of urethra, bladder and the rectum. This prolapse (dropping down) occurs due to injury to the muscles, ligaments and connective tissues of the pelvis.
These disorders usually result from multiple factors which are:
- If you are overweight.
- If you have a normal delivery.
- If your uterus is removed.
Pregnancy may cause the muscles of the uterus to stretch, thereby weakening the muscles of the pelvic floor. The risk of pelvic floor disorders increase if you have had multiple vaginal deliveries. Aging causes the pelvic structures to weaken as the elasticity in the muscles is reduced.
You may also experience pain during sexual intercourse. In addition to these symptoms, you may have problems in bladder control, resulting in leakage of urine.
Treatment for this disorder involves exercises of the pelvic floor to strengthen its muscles. Kegel exercises are used in strengthening the muscles of the vagina, urethra and the rectum. A device called ‘pessary’may be inserted into the vagina where it is used to support the organs. If the above treatments do not work, then surgery is performed to treat this condition.