Do Pelvic Floor Problems Have You Perturbed?

If a pelvic floor disorder is causing you discomfort, forcing you to plan your life around the nearest bathroom, or even interfering with your sex life, some simple exercises can help.

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as one in three American women may develop a pelvic floor disorder in her lifetime. Pelvic floor issues can include urinary incontinence, pelvic pain and symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse (a loss of muscular support for the pelvic organs, which can result in a vaginal protrusion).

“A variety of physicians can diagnose pelvic floor disorders and assess the strength and integrity of the pelvic support system,” says Jennifer McFarland, Physical Therapist with Carson Tahoe Health. “A physical therapist who specializes in women’s health can teach a woman simple, noninvasive techniques to strengthen the pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles, which research has shown to be effective in improving symptoms of incontinence and prolapse.”

“Women’s health physical therapist can train you to use the correct muscles for pelvic floor strengthening. Biofeedback training is also available to help patients verify the correct contraction,” says Stacy  Carman, Physical Therapist at Carson Tahoe. Within a few weeks, you should notice an improvement in symptoms.

Carson Tahoe offers individual pelvic floor strengthening therapy at Minden Medical Center and North Roop Professional Center. Patients attend one-hour therapy sessions once or twice per week for one or two months. In addition, the Women’s Health Institute recently began offering a six-week program intended to teach women at all points in life’s journey that they don’t have to live with pelvic floor problems.

The six-week program is tailored for women of all ages, whether you are looking to improve your sexual function, increase bladder and bowel control or help prevent the need for future surgeries.  Led by a physical therapist or a certified trainer, the once per week, 60 minute classes include 15 minutes of education and 45 minutes of exercise.  Classes cost just $50 per six-week course and are held weekly at the WHI. For more information and the next class start date call (775) 445-5169.