One of the most common ways we hear people describe their pelvic floor is that it feels damaged. Their idea of a damaged pelvic floor can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms of a damaged pelvic floor may include:
- Urinary Incontinence: This is the involuntary leakage of urine, which can occur during activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise. It may also manifest as a constant feeling of urgency to urinate.
- Fecal Incontinence: This is the inability to control bowel movements, leading to accidental leakage of stool or gas.
- Pelvic Pain: Pain in the pelvic area, which can be constant or intermittent, may be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. The pain can be sharp, dull, or aching and may be experienced during or after sexual intercourse.
- Pelvic Pressure: Some individuals may feel a sense of fullness or pressure in the pelvic region.
- Painful Intercourse: Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, often referred to as dyspareunia, can be associated with pelvic floor issues.
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse: This is when one or more pelvic organs (such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum) protrude into the vaginal canal. It can cause a sensation of bulging or pressure.
- Difficulty Emptying the Bladder or Bowels: In some cases, individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction may have difficulty fully emptying their bladder or bowels.
- Lower Back Pain: Chronic lower back pain may be linked to pelvic floor problems.
It’s important to note that not all symptoms are necessarily caused by a damaged pelvic floor, and they can also be indicative of other medical conditions. If you suspect you have pelvic floor issues or are experiencing any of these symptoms, talking with a pelvic floor PT can be a great place to start. A pelvic floor PT can perform a thorough evaluation and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options.