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Pelvic floor disorders

Pelvic floor disorder, also called pelvic floor dysfunction, occurs when there is a weakening or injury to the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that help support the organs in the pelvis—the rectum, uterus, vagina, and bladder.  The pelvic floor plays an important role in urination, moving the bowels and reproductive functions.

Women are far more likely to be affected by pelvic floor dysfunction.  A number of factors can contribute to the development of pelvic floor disorders, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Repetitive heavy lifting
  • Chronic pulmonary disease
  • Chronic constipation
  • Radiation
  • Pelvic surgery 

Pelvic floor disorder symptoms will vary depending on what type of damage has occurred. Women with pelvic floor disorders may experience:

  • Urinary incontinence: unintentional leaking of urine
  • Anal incontinence: accidental leakage of stool or gas
  • Abnormal bladder emptying: difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: bulging or protrusion ("prolapse") of the vagina or uterus through the vagina

At Holy Cross Health, our urogynecologists—physicians who specialize in the evaluation and treatment these health problems—are experts in the diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders.  They offer patients a number of effective treatment options tailored to their needs—and aimed at greatly improving the quality of their lives.


For more information about Gynecologic Surgery at Holy Cross Health, please fill out our brief contact form or call Stephanie Heller, program director at 301-754-7501

To find a physician or to make an appointment, search the physician directory or call 301-754-8800.

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