Pelvic Floor Disorders
The term “pelvic floor” refers to the group of muscles that form a sling or hammock across the opening of a woman’s pelvis. These muscles, together with their surrounding tissues, keep all of the pelvic organs in place so that the organs can function correctly. A pelvic floor disorder occurs when the pelvic muscles and connective tissue in the pelvis weaken or are injured as a result of childbirth, aging or illness.
Urinary incontinence is a pelvic floor disorder that may involve a loss of bladder control due to activities such as lifting, exercise or excessive coughing. Many women also suffer from an overactive bladder, which causes an urgent need to urinate frequently.
Vaginal prolapse is another disorder with symptoms that include a vaginal bulge that you can feel or see, pressure or the feeling of something falling from the vagina, low back pain, difficulty urinating, changes in urine stream and increased frequency and urgency of urination.
At what age do these problems typically occur?
Many women believe that urinary incontinence and vaginal prolapse only happen to older women. This is a common misperception; women can start experiencing symptoms as young as their thirties. Incontinence and prolapse are understandably embarrassing but not uncommon conditions, and can be effectively treated even in these very early stages.
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