A very common complaint during a gynecological visit is problems with bladder and bowel control. It is a misconception that these conditions are only experienced by older patients. Women of all ages can have issues with urinary urgency, “leaking” or loss of urine, constipation and bowel control. Patients are often surprised to learn that a lot of these conditions can be treated successfully and in a lot of cases without surgery or drugs.
The group of muscles that support the bladder and pelvic organs are collectively called the pelvic floor muscles. They are sometimes either too loose from pregnancy, labor or from the aging process, causing patients to lose urine with coughing, sneezing, laughing or jumping. Other times the pelvic floor muscles are too tight or over active. That can cause urinary urgency, pain during sex and constipation. In many cases these muscles can be either strengthened or taught to relax with specialized physical therapy. This kind of physical therapy is called Pelvic Floor Muscle Training. The results vary but 75-90 percent of patients attain significant improvement or are cured with this type of therapy. Muscle training is individualized based on the patient’s needs and it is painless. Some patients start seeing results as early as the third session. Most insurances and Medicare cover most of the cost of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training.
If you or someone you love is experiencing any problems with bladder or bowel control consider having a conversation with your gynecologist or urologist to see if Pelvic Floor Muscle Training is a good alternative for your specific condition.
Dr. Cecilia Grande is a board-certified gynecologist in private practice in South Miami, at 7000 SW 62 Avenue, Suite #400. You can contact her office at 305-856-1461.