Patient Safety at Ohio State

During this time of public health concern, many appointments for pelvic floor care may take place via telehealth wherever possible and appropriate. You can also request a telehealth or video visit by contacting your provider. For all in-person visits, you can feel confident that our locations are safe. We've taken significant measures to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our patients are protected. Learn more by visiting our patient safety page.

What is a pelvic floor dysfunction?

The pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles and connective tissue in your pelvic area that form a bowl-like network between the hip bones, pubic bone and tail bone. Contracting and relaxing these muscles is what allows control of both bowel and bladder movements.

In women, pelvic floor disorders often arise as a result of pregnancy or labor, though they can present for other reasons, such as nerve damage or prior pelvic surgery, or even just as a result of aging.

Regardless of the cause of your symptoms, a team of Ohio State specialists will work to ensure that treatment is complete and comprehensive.

Expert pelvic floor treatment that changes lives

If you’re a woman, there’s a 1 in 4 chance you’ll experience a pelvic floor disorder in your lifetime. Often, it’s difficult to discuss your condition or know when and where to seek treatment. At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, our Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery experts are specially trained in treating urologic conditions specific to women. Our team provides comprehensive testing, evaluation and treatment options designed to relieve your symptoms.

Just because you’ve had children or are getting older doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Whether you’re struggling with urinary incontinence or are experiencing discomfort from pelvic organ prolapse, our team of specialists provides personalized, compassionate care and will help create a treatment plan that’s right for your unique concerns. Our goal is to provide the least invasive, most effective treatment possible.

As a division of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, we provide the latest surgical, nonsurgical and behavioral therapies. If surgery is necessary, we may be able to offer robotic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System for a shorter hospital stay, easier recovery and minimal scarring.

We understand the impact a pelvic floor disorder can have on your daily life. That’s why our ultimate goal is to return the freedom and function you need to enjoy activities again without the worry of persistent symptoms.

What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?

While there are many different causes of pelvic floor problems, one of the most common reasons for the weakening of pelvic muscles is childbirth, particularly vaginal births. Pelvic floor disorders may also arise from previous surgeries or nerve damage, and are also more prevalent in people who are obese.

Pelvic floor disorder symptoms

  • The feeling that you need to urinate frequently, or a sudden urge to urinate
  • Leaking when you sneeze, cough or exercise
  • Feeling like you cannot fully empty your bladder even after you urinate
  • Heaviness, fullness, pulling or aching in the vagina

Common pelvic floor issues

We regularly provide treatment for women experiencing:
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (including cystocele, rectocele, uterine and vaginal prolapse)
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Genitourinary and rectovaginal fistulas
  • Microscopic hematuria (non-visible blood in urine)
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Vaginal atrophy (menopausal changes in the vagina, like dryness and discomfort)
  • Voiding dysfunction
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