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One in three women struggles with a pelvic floor disorder, but many do not seek treatment. Learn more about these disorders.
The pelvic floor is a network of muscles, ligaments and tissues in the lower abdominal area. It acts like a hammock to support the uterus, vagina and rectum. Pelvic floor disorders are caused by tears, weakness or poor function of the muscles and nerves in the pelvic floor.
Sometimes the start of symptoms related to a pelvic floor disorder is so gradual that women get used to them, or they don’t even notice them until something major occurs. But for many women, pelvic floor disorders worsen with time.
Whether it’s a frequent urge to urinate or an inability to control bowel movements, pelvic disorders are uncomfortable and embarrassing. As a result, they are also underreported and underdiagnosed. Many people also believe that they can’t be corrected.
“In the past, incontinence was something women just suffered through silently. But today more and more women are learning that there are many options, both surgical and non-surgical to address a variety of pelvic floor disorders,” explains May Wakamatsu, MD, director of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and co-director of the Pelvic Floor Disorders Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Learn more about types of pelvic floor disorders. Fortunately, many pelvic floor disorders can be managed with self-help measures and non-surgical procedures. Learn more about self-help measures for pelvic floor disorders.
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