If you have been struggling with having proper bowel movements, you might have a condition called pelvic floor dysfunction. This occurs when the muscles in the pelvic floor, which are located underneath the bladder and uterus or prostate, start contracting instead of relaxing. This can cause incomplete bowel movements. Here are some things to know about this condition.

Symptoms Are Similar to Constipation

Many people don't know they actually have a physical condition aside from constipation since many of the symptoms are similar to it. Some of the more common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction are feeling like you can't have a bowel movement or can't finish one. You may feel like you haven't emptied, or you might have the urgency to urinate but can't seem to properly. Cramping and straining is possible, and the same goes with constipation. Some of the other symptoms that might point more towards pelvic floor dysfunction are pain during intercourse, pelvic and genital pain, or lower back pain.

There Are a Variety of Causes

You might get this condition from any number of sources. There isn't a single thing that will cause it and it is not often a genetic condition. Instead, you are more likely to get it from an incident, such as if you had a vaginal childbirth and there were complications during the birth. It is also possible to get the condition if you are in an accident where your pelvic area is affected. Some people may also gradually develop pelvic floor dysfunction over time as a result of the aging process. You might not notice it much at first, but the issues with emptying your bladder and bowel become more prevalent.

There Are Non-Invasive and Invasive Treatments

If your doctor diagnoses you with this condition, they will likely recommend home and non-invasive treatments first. You will be asked to try to relax the muscles in your pelvic floor as much as possible when emptying your bladder and bowels, including never trying to strain even if it feels like you need to. Taking regular warm baths and using muscle relaxants might also be recommended. Physical therapy can sometimes be effective at treating this pelvic floor condition.

Surgery is sometimes needed if the home treatments are not working for you. Pelvic reconstructive surgery is one procedure you might need if you can't find relief and the condition is on the more severe side. The type of reconstruction needed will depend on the level of difficulty you have with your pelvic floor muscle, ranging from minimally invasive to major surgery.

For pelvic reconstructive surgery, contact an office such as Western Branch Center for Women.