Pregnancy and childbirth are physically transformative for a woman. Given the intricate network of muscles and nerves that makes up the female pelvic system, it should come as no surprise that giving birth can have long-lasting repercussions on the body. So, women become more prone to pelvic floor disorders after childbirth. For some women, pelvic floor disorders after childbirth can steal their peace of mind, because they can extremely painful.
Here’s everything you need to know about pelvic floor disorders after childbirth.
What are pelvic floor disorders?
These conditions impact the health of a woman’s pelvic floor, which is a collection of muscles and ligaments in your pelvic area. The bladder, rectum and uterus or prostate are among the pelvic organs supported by the pelvic floor. These muscles control your bowel motions, urine, and, for women in particular, sexual activity.
There are several pelvic floor disorders that may affect the muscles of your pelvic floor. These diseases include organ prolapse or sagging, difficulty with urination and bowel movements, and deterioration of the pelvic muscles and connective tissues, as per Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Pelvic floor disorders after childbirth
Dr Padma Srivastava, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Lulla nagar, Pune, shares the most common types of pelvic floor disorders with HealthShots.
Pelvic floor disorders can lead to pain and dysfunction in one’s uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder, or rectum because of vaginal childbirth. It is a known fact that natural delivery is the most common mode of childbirth. However, it can lead to a plethora of problems. It can lead to prolapsed or sagging of the pelvic organs, including the rectum, uterus, bladder, and weakening of pelvic muscles. These are some of the issues that will require immediate medical attention. After all, you cannot take it lightly when it comes to your health, explains Dr Srivastava.
Also Read: C-section complications: Know the side effects of cesarean delivery for mother and baby
Types of pelvic floor disorders
Here are the most common types of pelvic floor disorders that people should look out for, says Dr Srivastava
1. Pelvic organ prolapsed
It is a condition that occurs when the pelvic area slips down from its normal position into the vagina. It can be the womb (uterus), the rectum, the bladder or even the vagina. It can make a woman feel uncomfortable during intercourse.
2. Urinary incontinence
Urinary incontinence happens in the form of stress incontinence and urges incontinence. Stress incontinence causes leaks while coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Urge incontinence suggests the urgent need to go to the bathroom and loss of urine. Faecal incontinence means loss of stool, leading to extreme embarrassment.
Fistula affects the wall of the vagina and the wall of the bladder or rectum, leading to urine and faecal leakage. This can also be one of the complications after vaginal delivery.
Also Read: Vaginal fistula: Know all about this health complication
4. Pelvic floor damage
Women who give birth to many children have higher chances of suffering from pelvic floor damage later in their lives in the form of prolapsed organs. They can suffer from pelvic floor damage, which requires immediate attention.
How are pelvic floor disorders treated?
While pelvic floor disorders are a common occurrence, some women find it embarrassing to talk about it openly which should not be the case. Since pelvic floor disorders can be serious, they require immediate attention. Not talking about it can delay treatment, which can lead to severe complications.
Dr Srivastava shares the following as treatment options for pelvic floor disorders:
- Nonsurgical treatments mean bladder training which involves using the bathroom
- Kegel exercises are recommended that involve squeezing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to help one deal with pelvic floor disorders.
- Having more fluid and fibre is advised to avoid constipation
- Proper bowel movement is important to prevent pelvic disorders. Talk to your doctor if you notice any changes.