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Pelvic floor dysfunction

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

At The Osteopathic Pelvic Hub, we are dedicated to supporting women with pelvic floor dysfunction, which can manifest differently for each individual. Whether it's discreetly crossing legs to sneeze, pre-emptively heading to the toilet, or experiencing pain during intimacy, discussing pelvic floor issues can often make women feel embarrassed. However, at The Osteopathic Pelvic Hub, we believe in fostering an open and sensitive conversation about pelvic floor health.

The pelvic floor comprises layers of muscles, ligaments, and fascia, forming a hammock-like structure from the tailbone to the pubic bone. Even minor leakage (urinary incontinence) is an indication of suboptimal pelvic floor function, and studies suggest that a significant number of women, including postpartum mothers and elite athletes, experience some degree of incontinence.

Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction go beyond urinary leakage and can include

- Urge to urinate with or without leakage

- Frequent nocturnal urination

- Inability to control gas

- Dislodging or falling out of tampons

- Bulge at the vaginal opening

- Sensation of heaviness or dragging in the vagina

- Pain during intercourse

- Lower back, pelvic, and sacroiliac joint pain

Untreated pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to various issues such as the inability to control urination and bowel movements, organ prolapse, and sexual difficulties.

The pelvic floor performs several essential functions, including sphincter control, stability, sexual function, support, sump pump-like circulation assistance, and assistance in respiration.

Various factors can weaken or cause dysfunction in the pelvic floor, including pregnancy, chronic constipation, coughing, hormonal changes, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, heavy lifting, and improper intra-abdominal pressure management.

Distinguishing between a tight pelvic floor and a weak one can be complex. A tight pelvic floor doesn't necessarily imply strength; it can hinder the ability to engage when needed, resulting in added stress. Pain during intercourse can be an indicator of a tight pelvic floor, making relaxation before strengthening essential.

At The Osteopathic Pelvic Hub, we believe that structure and function are interconnected. When addressing women's health and pelvic floor dysfunction, we assess not just the pelvic floor but also the musculoskeletal system for potential imbalances impacting pelvic floor function.

Dr. Kathryn Johns, our experienced osteopath, has undergone extensive training in pelvic floor assessment, retraining, and rehabilitation, utilizing both internal and external techniques. She is also adept at using Real Time Ultrasound for non-invasive pelvic floor and deep abdominal assessments.

Kathryn prioritizes providing caring and sensitive patient care while ensuring a thorough assessment. She creates personalized management plans beyond standard kegel exercises.


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