It’s Time to Treat Your Pelvic Floor Disorder
By Aparna Shah, MD
Board-Certified OB/Gyn & Female Pelvic Medicine Reconstructive Surgery
The Christ Hospital Physicians–Urogynecology
7759 University Dr., Suite G
West Chester, OH 45069
Nearly 30 percent of women will suffer from conditions caused by deterioration of muscles, connective tissues, bone structures and ligaments in the pelvis at some point in their lifetime. Together, these are collectively known as the “pelvic floor,” and are critical to supporting organs such as the uterus and bladder. Yet as common as pelvic floor disorders are, many women do not seek treatment, suffering from needless discomfort and embarrassment.
Pelvic floor disorders take many forms, many of them disruptive to everyday life. Common complaints include accidental bladder and bowel leakage, vaginal bulge and discomfort during sex. Vaginal dryness, itching and discharge could also be signs of a pelvic floor issue. Women who have delivered children vaginally or are post-menopausal are at highest risk for these disorders, but even younger women who have not given birth may suffer from pelvic floor related issues.
Patients should understand that these disorders are very common and are often treatable – women shouldn’t feel that they have to live with them. Advanced treatment options and alternatives to surgery, some of which The Christ Hospital Pelvic Floor Center helped to develop, are making pelvic floor care easier. Many can now be performed as outpatient procedures without general anesthesia.
For example, Botox injections can be used to relax the bladder, a treatment that has proven highly effective for patients who suffer from urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence associated with urinary urgency.
Another relatively new, non-surgical technique is MonaLisa Touch, an outpatient laser procedure used to treat women with vaginal atrophy, or symptoms that come from a lack of estrogen.
Urogynecologic surgical options have also become less invasive. Even some of our bigger surgeries are much less invasive now than they may have been 20 years ago. And with minimally-invasive surgical approaches, patients experience less post-operative pain, less post-operative narcotic use and a quicker return to activities of daily living.
The Christ Hospital Pelvic Floor Center is entirely devoted to multidisciplinary care for women with pelvic floor disorders. Learn more by visiting The Christ Hospital.