When we talk about aging and the problems it causes, we usually think about how it affects our appearance. You’ll see advertisements for anti-aging products everywhere. However, we rarely think about how aging affects the more intimate aspects of our femininity. For example, did you know that aging also cause pelvic floor problems such as urinary incontinence?
Here at South Lake OBGYN in Clermont, Florida, we are excited to offer pelvic floor muscle therapy, a simple yet effective solution to urinary incontinence caused by pelvic floor muscles that have weakened. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has recently recommended this therapy as a standard of gynecologic care, and we are proud to offer it to help our patients return to a healthy and independent life. Call us today to learn more.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence can be caused by several different factors such as weight gain, injury, changing hormonal levels or the aging process. Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles also commonly results from childbirth and gynecological surgery. The most common types of urinary incontinence include the following:
- Stress incontinence: bladder leakage that occurs with laughing, coughing, sneezing or physical activity.
- Urge incontinence: a frequent urge to urinate at all hours of the day. This form of incontinence is also known as overactive bladder.
- Mixed incontinence: any combination of stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Just as no two patients are exactly alike, your treatment plan will be optimized for your personal needs. We utilize a variety of diagnostic methods to determine which type of incontinence you may be experiencing, which we will discuss with you in more detail during your consultation.
What Is Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy (PFMT) can consist of physical therapy or exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen the muscles and connective tissues of the pelvic floor, thereby supporting the pelvic organs. Pelvic floor therapy or PFMT boasts a success rate of 70-80% and does not come with any side effects.
Your treatment will begin with an initial consultation, which will consist of a health assessment and examination. This assessment will help us determine the type and severity of incontinence you are experiencing. It will also allow us to develop the best treatment plan for you. We will teach you how to train your pelvic muscles to ensure that they are strengthened as effectively as possible. The pelvic muscles will also be stimulated with mild electrical pulses. While the electrical stimuli will prompt the muscles to contract, they will not cause any discomfort.
In addition to urinary incontinence, PFMT can also treat the following conditions with great success:
- Urinary frequency
- Interstitial cystitis
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Fecal incontinence
- Chronic constipation
- Rectal pain
- Pelvic floor relaxation
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Postmenopausal atrophy
How Often Will I Need Treatment?
You will likely need more than one treatment session to get the best results. Most patients start to notice positive results after three to four treatment sessions and can finish their therapy after six to eight sessions. Treatments are usually performed once a week and typically take just 30 minutes to complete.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy?
Millions of Americans are affected by bladder and pelvic issues. Because PFMT is such a safe and customizable treatment, most women experiencing health issues related to the muscles of the pelvic floor make good candidates. Our doctor at South Lake OBGYN will ultimately decide if PFMT is the right choice for you. Contact our office in Clermont to schedule your first appointment and learn more!