Women's Health Frequently Asked Questions

Is incontinence just an inevitable part of aging?  Absolutely NOT!  Many women experience incontinence as they age because of muscle weakness not addressed in their younger years.  Incontinence is a symptom of pelvic floor weakness and core dysfunction and is 100% treatable.

Incontinence is more prevalent in the elderly (men and women) because of their decreased mobility.  One of the primary ways we keep the muscle responsible for bowel and bladder function strong and healthy is through walking.  If an individual is no longer ambulatory they will need to do specific exercises regularly to maintain the strength of the muscles responsible for a healthy bowel and bladder continence.


If I have a pelvic organ prolapse, is surgery the only treatment option for me?  No way!  When the muscles of the pelvic floor, whose job is to support the bowel, bladder, and uterus, are weak they become longer due to the weight of the organs constantly resting on them.  Left untreated, this can progress to the point that one of the organs prolapses (drops to the point it can be seen or felt in the vaginal vault)  Prolapse is rated based on the severity or level of organ descent.  Therapists can work with a patient experiencing prolapse symptoms on positioning to reduce the prolapse, activity modification to decrease intra abdominal pressures which exacerbates the problem, and exercise to build up the pelvic floor and core muscles which are the natural sling to support the organs.


Once I have multiple children, do I have to change my exercise routine or active lifestyle? No, women should be able to return to the active lifestyle they enjoyed before children no matter how many children they have given birth to.  There is a catch; however, you MUST  make sure your low back and SI alignment are returned to neutral, you must be assessed for diastasis recti and receive treatment for it if it is present, and you must retrain your core and pelvic muscles to provide the support role they played pre-pregnancy.  None of these things are hard to accomplish but they are essential steps for your wellness. If they are skipped and a woman tries to return to a strenuous workout routine, prolapse, pelvic and or back pain, and frustration will often follow!


Is there anything that can be done to treat the pain I experience with intercourse? Yes.  There are many causes for painful intercourse and you should discuss this concern with your doctors because in some instances medication is the answer.  However, in some instances the cause of your pain is muscular so therapy may be the answer.  Muscles of the pelvic floor are muscles just like the ones in your legs or back.  And just the same, if they are strained, weak, or in spasm they talk to us and let us know they are not happy.  A therapist can complete an evaluation and determine if the cause of your pain is a common trigger point (a small area of muscle spasm), weakness causing the muscle to become longer and ineffective  (hypotonicity) or shortened and working harder than they need to (hypertonicity). All of which can be effectively treated! However, the treatment plan looks dramatically different depending on the cause, so an evaluation is very important to get you moving in the right direction.


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