Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common cause of chronic constipation but is often overlooked or misdiagnosed and therefore not treated adequately. The board-certified colorectal specialists at Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC accurately diagnose and effectively treat symptoms related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Schedule an evaluation today. Call their office in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia. Or use their secure online service to request an appointment.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common condition that interferes with your ability to correctly relax and coordinate muscles in your pelvic floor during urination or bowel movements.
These muscles provide foundational support for the bladder, uterus, vagina, prostate, and rectum. Numerous issues can cause pelvic floor dysfunction, including age, pregnancy, excess weight, and previous abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Notably, pelvic floor dysfunction differs from pelvic organ prolapse, which causes the uterus, bladder, bowel, and other pelvic organs to prolapse or move out of position. Women can develop pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth, menopause, or surgery. Prolapse symptoms include pelvic pressure, urinary incontinence, and a palpable bulge from the vagina.
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction vary but may include:
Women may also experience discomfort or pain with sexual intercourse, while men may develop problems with erectile dysfunction.
To accurately diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction, your FCRS provider may recommend:
Anal manometry testing evaluates the strength of muscles that control bowel movements. It’s a painless in-office study that takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Defecography uses x-ray imaging to evaluate the function of the rectum and pelvic floor muscles during evacuation. The study is painless, takes about 15 minutes, and is completed at INOVA Fairfax Hospital by a radiologist.
Dynamic pelvic floor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides highly detailed images of the pelvic floor musculature and positioning of the small intestine, bladder, uterus, and rectum. You do not require bowel prep or dye for this painless test, which takes about 15 minutes.
EMG testing evaluates nerve function of the pelvic floor muscles as you mimic the squeezing motion used during a bowel movement. Small sticky pads (electrodes) placed just outside the anal opening record nerve impulses.
Your provider then develops a treatment strategy that often includes physical therapy (PT) with biofeedback to retrain your pelvic floor muscles.
Schedule an evaluation at FCRS today by calling their office or requesting an appointment online.