Often women feel frustration if they are treated by male physicians as opposed to female physicians. This statement is not to imply that males are inferior to females in the professional medical field. Sometimes, women may be describing an ailment with signs and symptoms that are unfamiliar to male physicians. One of these disorders is named “Pelvic Floor Disorder.”
For the last last 3 1/2 years, I personally have experienced symptoms that I could only describe as “feeling as if I’m in labor.” In 2008, my primary care physician referred me to a Lexington surgeon. That surgeon ordered numerous diagnostic tests.
I had access to information that indicated every malformation or concern in my body. I was finally diagnosed with an intestinal disorder. After the proper medication, the pain ceased. This cessation was temporary. Eighteen months later, the symptoms returned.
Again, I began to feel as if I were in labor. Male physicians were compassionate, emphathetic, and concerned, yet they were baffled by what I was describing. I was referred to the University of Kentucky Urology Clinic. There I met a wonderful ARNP (American Registered Nurse Practicioner) who diagnosed my problem.
After diagnosing me properly, she ordered appropriate medication, and gave me an information sheet that describes Pelvic Floor Disorder. The information in this article will come from that information sheet.
***What is the pelvic floor? “Imagine a trampoline. A trampoline includes a metal ring around the edges, and the metal ring supports a sheet of stretchy material (the part you bounce on). The human pelvis is similar. There is a ring of bone, and the ‘stretchy material’ is made of muscle. This musle is called the pelvic floor. In women, it has three openings: one for the urethra (urine channel), one for the vagina and one for the rectum (for bowel movements).”
“In a healthy person, the pelvic floor has just the right amount of tightness. If it is too loose, the person might have trouble with incontinence (loss of urine control) or the bladder or rectum might fall into the vagina. However, it also causes problems if the pelvic floor is too tight. Then the muscle spasms cause pain, especially with activities that involve the pelvic floor such as urinating, bowel movements or sexual intercourse.”
“If the pelvic floor is too tight, the treatments include self-help treatments, physical therapy and muscle relaxants.”
Luckily for me, nothing fell into an area where it didn’t belong. My extreme pain is managed with a non-narcotic muscle relaxant.
The teaching sheet that I received is invaluable. I keep it readily accessable. If I require any type of medical treatment, invariably I will be asked “What is Pelvic Floor Disorder?”
Also, the condition can be hereditary. One of my close relatives was recently diagnosed with Pelvic Floor Disorder. Her physician is in the same UK Urology Clinic that I utilize.
If you think that you may have Pelvic Floor Disorder, please note the following information:
****UK Health Care Division of Urology – address: 740 South Limestone, Suite B-219, Lexington, KY 40536-0284. Office phone number 859-257-3533. Office web site – www.uky.edu.
It is not necessary to suffer silently in pain, seek help at UK Urology Clinic or another local urology clinic. Hopefully, you will have the positive experience that I had.