A health clinic designed to focus on pelvic floor muscles for females, including expectant women and new moms
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissue in your pelvic area that forms a bowl-like network between the hip bones, pubic bone and tailbone. This area can be seriously impacted by pregnancy or childbirth.
Damage to the pelvic floor can result in lasting complex vaginal, urinary, bowel, intercourse and pain problems.
At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, our specialists are experts in the pelvic floor and understand the dramatic impact this can have on your overall quality of life. We are here to help.
Our goal is to prevent pelvic floor injuries in the first place, but when they occur, our focus is on your recovery and improving your symptoms.
Conditions We Treat
- Advanced or complex vaginal lacerations
- Episiotomy issues
- Urinary leakage
- Bowel leakage, including gas and/or stool
- Other bowel and bladder control issues
- Infection and abnormal healing
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal or vulvar pain
Pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms
- Urinary leakage, frequency, and/or urgency (the feeling that you need to get to the restroom very quickly)
- Difficulty with bladder emptying
- Bowel issues including constipation and accidental leakage, including gas and/or stool, and fecal urgency
- Pelvic organ prolapse (weakening of the pelvic support of the bladder, vagina, uterus/cervix, and rectum resulting in a pressure, fullness or bulge women can see or feel in the vagina)
- Fistulas (abnormal connections between the pelvic organs resulting in leakage of urine, gas and/or feces into the vagina)
- Pain in the vagina or vulva during intercourse
- Infection and abnormal healing
Pelvic floor dysfunction diagnosis
To help us develop an individualized treatment plan, we’ll conduct a physical exam and review your medical, surgical and obstetric history, with particular focus on your current or most recent pregnancy issues and recent delivery.
To address all aspects of your postpartum care, we’ll also screen for and discuss concerns related to breastfeeding problems and postpartum depression.
We’ll evaluate for bowel or bladder problems, assess overall pain levels and answer questions about pelvic floor anatomy or tears you suffered during delivery.
Specialized diagnostic testing, including 3D ultrasound equipment, may be used to evaluate the anal sphincter and pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor dysfunction education
Pelvic floor disorders can be confusing.
Our goal is for women to understand how their pregnancy and delivery may have impacted their current issues. And while treatment may be necessary for some patients, we’ll also discuss diet and lifestyle changes that can prevent incontinence later. Many women have questions about the impact of their pregnancy and delivery on future deliveries as well, which will be addressed in your visit, if applicable.
Pelvic floor dysfunction treatment
After recommendations and discussion of treatment options, you’ll partner with your physician to map out the best course of prevention or recovery from your particular pelvic floor issue.
We offer a range of innovative outpatient and inpatient procedures, including:
- Physical therapy for pelvic muscle strengthening
- Peripheral nerve electrode placement and Botox injections for the bladder to treat severe urinary urge and incontinence
- Trigger point injections and Botox injections for vaginal pain
- Fitted vaginal devices (pessary), mesh sling procedure, and transurethral bulking agent injections for stress incontinence
- Revision procedures for abnormal healing and scarring to restore anatomy and alleviate pain
- Vaginal laser therapy for vaginal thinning
- Vaginal, laparoscopic and robot-assisted surgery for reconstruction and repair of pelvic organ prolapse
- Peripheral nerve electrode placement and sphincteroplasty for bowel control issues
- Repair of obstetric fistulas
We’ll always consider nonsurgical treatments first, but we work with each patient to provide the most effective, lasting treatment possible that also meets her personal goals.
Lisa Hickman, MD
The clinic is led by Lisa Hickman, MD, a physician and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders. She developed the first Special Interest Group on Childbirth and Pelvic Floor Disorders through the American Urogynecologic Society and currently serves as the organization’s vice chair. She has also published several articles and lectured at numerous local and national meetings about pelvic floor disorders, and was recipient of the Women’s Health Service and Leadership Award from the Cleveland Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists in 2020.
More about childbirth pelvic floor dysfunction
What is pelvic floor physical therapy?
How to perform a sitz bath
How to care for your bottom after delivery
How to perform a Kegel exercise
Why choose Ohio State for childbirth pelvic floor dysfunction care
Our team of experts is trained in postpartum care and dedicated to your full recovery. Your treatment will be managed by a urogynecologist who specializes in pelvic muscle, bowel and bladder issues during pregnancy and after delivery.
And because our clinic is part of one of the nation’s largest academic health care centers, we can access a full range of medical and university experts as needed. Even if you have physical or mental health concerns unrelated to the pelvic floor conditions we’re treating, we’ll ensure that every aspect of your health is addressed.
Lastly, we understand the challenges presented by pelvic floor conditions and the unique stresses faced by pregnant women and new moms, so we’ll provide the empathy, respect and careful evaluation you deserve.