Treating Pelvic Floor Disorders
Treating pelvic floor disorders may involve behavioral changes, nonsurgical and surgical options, or medication or a combination of these. Since many pelvic floor disorders can be treated successfully without surgery, strategies such as behavior changes, physical therapy and medication are often the first approach for many patients.
Behavioral therapies include:
- Lifestyle changes: This may include managing your diet and fluid intake, watching what you eat, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
- Bladder training: Teaches you tools and techniques to resist the urge to urinate and expand the time between urinating.
- Scheduled toileting: This therapy uses routine or scheduled toileting, habit training schedules, and prompted voiding to empty the bladder every 2 to 4 hours to prevent leaking.
- Pelvic floor exercises (like Kegels) and biofeedback will improve, strengthen and tone pelvic floor muscles, which may eliminate or improve incontinence or prolapse.
- Medicines: Specific medicines for incontinence as well as estrogen therapy may be prescribed for you. These medications may be helpful treatments for urinary incontinence, particularly for post-menopausal women.
- Pessaries: These small, removable silicone or plastic devices are inserted through the vagina to help hold pelvic organs in place. Many different types of pessaries are available and can be fitted comfortably to reduce stress incontinence or treat pelvic organ prolapse.
For patients whose symptoms fail to improve with nonsurgical treatment, our qualified, fellowship trained physicians can often improve symptoms with surgery. Some of these procedures can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, including robotic-assisted surgery. Many patients who have these less invasive procedures go home the same day. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Less pain
- Less injury to tissue
- Minimal scarring
- Less blood loss
- Faster return to normal activities
There are times when a hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus, is the best option for a patient. If a hysterectomy is your doctor’s recommended treatment, the benefits and risks will be discussed with you.
You can trust our fellowship-trained urogynecologist to provide the unique, specialized care needed for your personal situation.