How is pelvic floor dysfunction treated?

Pelvic floor dysfunction can often be successfully treated without surgery. Treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction include the following:

  • Biofeedback: The most common treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction is biofeedback, done with the help of a physical therapist. This non-painful, non-surgical technique provides improvement for more than 75% of people with pelvic floor dysfunction. Physical therapists may take several approaches to biofeedback to retrain the muscles. These include using special sensors and video to monitor the pelvic floor muscles as the patient attempts to relax or contract them. The therapist then provides feedback and works with the patient on improving his or her muscle coordination.
  • Medication: In some cases, your physician may prescribe a low-dose muscle relaxant to deal with pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Relaxation techniques: Your physician or physical therapist may recommend relaxation techniques such as meditation, warm baths, yoga and exercises.
  • Surgery: If your physician determines your pelvic floor dysfunction is the result of a rectal prolapse (the tissue that lines the rectum falls down into the anal opening) or rectocele (the end of the rectum pushes through the wall of the vagina), surgery may be necessary. By using the defecating proctogram test, your physician should be able to determine if these conditions are causing your pelvic floor dysfunction. Occasionally, your surgeon may decide to inject Botox to relax the pelvic floor muscle.

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