Pelvic Floor Conditions

These conditions impact men and women and Hoag Pelvic Health Program specializes in treating them.

Bladder Disorders

Bladder disorders are a significant health problem affecting us economically and socially. There are several types of bladder disorders, see below for details:

  • Incontinence
  • Urgency
  • Frequency
  • Neurogenic Bladder / Overactive Bladder (OAB)
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Urinary Hesitancy
  • Nocturia (frequent urination at night)
  • Cystocele (prolapse of the bladder)

Bowel Disorders

There are many types of bowel disorders that can affect everything from the absorption, movement through the bowel, irritability of the bowels, and control over the emptying of the bowel.

Bowel disorders can arise for many reasons including: a disease or injury that caused damage to the nervous system, injuries sustained to the pelvic floor due to giving birth, cancer surgery, hemorrhoid surgery, or other health problems.

  • Incontinence
  • Flatulence Incontinence
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Rectal Prolapse

Pelvic Pain Disorders

Due to the sensitive nature of pelvic disorders, it is believed they are significantly underreported and may be more common than the research currently suggests. Pelvic pain may be in multiple areas including the lower abdomen, perineum, vulva/vagina (females), testes or penis (men), rectum or anus, or the tailbone. Back pain, bladder, bowel, sexual pains, are also common.

  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
  • Vulvar pain
  • Vestibulitis
  • Vaginismus
  • Vulvodynia
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • erectile dysfunction
  • Coccydynia (tailbone pain)
  • Pudental Nerve Entrapment
  • Proctalgia Fugax

Cancer Related

Women and Cancer

For women, chemotherapy and drugs can rapidly deplete the body of Estrogen and change hormonal balance. This frequently leads to multiple changes in vaginal tissues, the pelvic muscles, urinary system, digestive track and several other systems. Dryness in vaginal tissues can be very painful during intercourse and lead to sexual dysfunction. Chronic depletion of estrogen can also lead to vaginal atrophy, or shrinkage of the muscles surrounding the vagina. These muscles not only contribute to sexual function, but are also key in bowel and bladder function (urinary urgency, frequency or pain).

Surgeries, especially mastectomies, can also cause severe swelling or "lymphedema" in the body. Mastectomies can also cause problems and pain in the shoulder, upper back, neck and arms. Reconstructive breast surgeries can also lead to problems such as breast or shoulder pain from scarring.

Scarring from abdominal surgeries (after colon, ovarian, or cervical cancers) can also lead to pelvic problems such as constipation, abdominal pain and cramping, or even back pain.

Men and Cancer

For males, removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) can lead to scarring and irritation around the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. The scarring can also irritate local nerves and can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tailbone pain, urinary or bowel frequency or incontinence. It can also lead to sexual dysfunction such as painful intercourse or erectile dysfunction.

Some common conditions and complaints following a cancer diagnosis and treatment include:

  • Painful intercourse or sexual dysfunction after chemotherapy or hormonal therapies
  • Post-prostatectomy (related pain, sexual dysfunction, loss of urinary or bowel control)
  • Lymphedema
  • Shoulder / upper back / neck pain after breast reconstruction or mastectomy
  • Breast reconstruction complications
  • Abdominal scarring after colon, ovarian or cervical cancer