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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

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The pelvic floor is the group of muscles that form a sling or hammock across the opening of a woman’s pelvis. They work with surrounding tissue to keep pelvic organs in place and functioning properly.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is the inability for the muscles in your pelvic floor to function properly leading to a multitude of secondary conditions.


Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction are the result of the inefficient or weakened pelvic floor muscles.

  • Constipation
  • The feeling of incomplete emptying of the rectum when having a bowel movement
  • Bowel incontinence

Causes and Risk Factors

The pelvic floor is made up of several muscles that support the rectum like a hammock. When an individual wants to have a bowel movement the pelvic floor muscles are supposed to relax allowing the rectum to empty. Individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction have a tendency to contract instead of relax the pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the pelvic muscles and connective tissue in the pelvis weaken or are injured. Often pelvic floor dysfunction is a result of pelvic surgery, radiation treatments, and, in some cases, pregnancy or vaginal delivery of a child.

Diagnostic Tests

Your doctor will start with a medical history, do a physical examination, and perform other tests to diagnose the cause of your pelvic floor dysfunction.

Your doctor may recommend additional tests to aid in diagnosis including:

  • Defecating proctogram to test the efficiency of the pelvic floor muscles

Treatment and Procedures

Treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction depends how your body is affected by the weakened or damaged muscles.

  • Biofeedback to improve a person’s rectal sensation and pelvic floor muscle coordination
  • Pelvic floor muscles exercises strengthen the muscles around the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum

Abnormalities such as rectal prolapse and rectocele may be treated surgically

Your health is our greatest concern. Please contact the Center for Colon & Rectal Surgery at 407.303.2615for a private consultation today.