Nearly one-third of women eventually have medical problems caused by a weak pelvic floor. That’s because childbirth, weight gain, and menopause can take a toll on the muscles that support your bladder, uterus, and other organs. This can cause pelvic pain, bladder leakage, and other challenges. If your symptoms interfere with your sleep, sex life, or daily activities, it may be time to see a doctor. You’ll find expert care for bladder and pelvic floor conditions right here in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Reverse your symptoms and restore your confidence.
Many women assume problems like urinary incontinence are just a frustrating part of aging. But bladder leakage, pelvic pressure, or painful sex are abnormal — and treatable.
If you’re tired of living with painful symptoms, turn to Tower Health. Our urogynecologists (doctors who specialize in both the female reproductive system and the urinary tract) can help you get your life back.
Pelvic Floor Disorders We Treat
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and tissues that hold your bladder, bowel, uterus, and vagina in place. Sometimes these muscles become weak, or they stop working properly. When this happens, you may have problems such as:
- Having to visit the toilet urgently or more frequently
- Leaking urine when you sneeze or laugh
- Lower back pain
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Pelvic pain
- Pelvic pressure, or a feeling of heaviness in the vagina
- Seeing or feeling a “bulge” coming out of the vagina
Tower Health urogynecologists treat the full range of conditions that cause these symptoms, including:
- Accidental bowel leakage, or difficulty controlling bowel movements. Also known as fecal incontinence, this can range from occasional stool leakage to complete loss of bowel control.
- Bladder disorders. These include interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) and overactive bladder.
- Gynecologic fistulas. Holes that form between the urinary tract or bowel, and the genital tract. This can cause urine or feces to leak into the vagina.
- Pelvic organ prolapse. Occurs when the pelvic organs slip out of place, causing them to drop into (or bulge out of) the vagina. Types of prolapse include cystocele (sagging bladder), uterine prolapse (the uterus falls into the vagina), and rectocele (the rectum bulges against the back of the vagina).
- Pelvic adhesions. Scar tissue builds up in the abdomen and causes two or more pelvic organs to stick together.
- Urinary incontinence, or a loss of bladder control. There are several different types of incontinence, each causing more severe urine leakage. These include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and total incontinence.
We also have experience treating gynecologic conditions that cause pelvic pain, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Diagnosing Bladder and Pelvic Floor Problems
Tower Health urogynecologists share a passion for helping women overcome their debilitating symptoms. If your doctor thinks you have a pelvic floor disorder, you may have one or more of the following exams or tests:
- A comprehensive exam. Your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, such as whether you’ve had children or if you strain during bowel movements. You may also have a physical exam so your doctor can feel for pelvic muscle weakness or organ prolapse.
- Lab tests. Urine analysis and urine culture tests help your doctor rule out kidney problems, urinary tract infections, or other medical conditions.
- Imaging tests. Certain radiology procedures, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, take pictures of the pelvic organs.
- Endoscopic procedures. Cameras attached to catheters (thin tubes) allow doctors to see inside the body. Procedures include examination of the bladder (cystoscopy), uterus (hysteroscopy), and abdomen (laparoscopy).
- Urinary stress tests. Your doctor may ask you to cough or perform other activities while your bladder is full, to see if you have urine leakage.
- Urodynamic testing. A group of procedures that test how well the bladder and urethra are storing and releasing urine.
Nonsurgical Care for Bladder and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Our team has helped countless women improve their quality of life without surgery. Some of the nonsurgical treatments we offer include:
- Botox injections. These shots can help relax the bladder muscles in women with urge incontinence or overactive bladder.
- Lifestyle counseling. Your doctor may recommend you reduce your caffeine intake, quit smoking, or start exercising.
- Medicine. Prescription medicines can help relax the bladder muscles or increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold.
- Pelvic floor rehabilitation. Physical therapists can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Techniques include exercises, bladder training, and biofeedback.
- Pessaries. A removable device that supports the pelvic organs when inserted into the vagina.
Surgery to Treat Bladder and Pelvic Floor Conditions
If you’ve tried medicine, rehabilitation, or other conservative therapies without success, your doctor may recommend surgery. Whether you need treatment for accidental bowel leakage or adhesion, you’ll find a full range of safe, state-of-the-art gynecologic surgery and urogynecology procedures at Tower Health.
Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive options that may improve your quality of life with less pain, fewer complications, and a faster recovery. These options include laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, and vaginal access procedures.