Pelvic, Bladder And Sexual Issues

Innovative Treatment for a Wide Variety of Issues

PELVIC, BLADDER AND SEXUAL ISSUES

Optimal bladder, pelvic and sexual health is necessary for body balance. Innovative Health specializes in the following common (and not so common) problems affecting women throughout their lives. We’re here, and we’re ready to listen- women to women so you can begin to reclaim your life!

We provide complete services for urinary incontinence, pelvic support issues, sexual and vaginal problems, pelvic pain and interstitial cystitis. Ms. Williams has over 15 years of experience working with women with bladder, pelvic and sexual issues. She is an expert in the non-surgical management of urinary incontinence, pelvic prolapse, pessary fitting and maintenance, interstitial cystitis and painful intercourse.

Bladder Health

Urinary Incontinence - An involuntary loss of urine, which occurs in varying degrees and may interfere with daily activities and lead to a negative impact on quality of life. There is more than one type of urinary incontinence and different types often overlap. The causes and symptoms of each can be different and confusing.

Overactive Bladder - A sudden strong urge to urinate that may or may not be followed by the uncontrolled loss of urine. Overactive bladder symptoms usually include frequent urination during the day and at night, along with the inability to postpone the urge to urinate.

Bladder Infection - (Clinically referred to as Chronic Cystitis and also known as urinary tract infection.) A bacterial infection of the bladder that occurs more than 3 times in 12 months — not to be confused with Interstitial Cystitis or kidney infection. Most women will have at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. When urinary tract infections increase in frequency, then proper evaluation is necessary. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include discomfort with urination, frequent and/or urgent urination, discomfort in the pelvic area or lower back, and fever or chills.

Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome - A syndrome characterized by urinary frequency, urgency, pain in the pelvis and/or bladder area, and often pain with intercourse. Symptoms vary from patient to patient and may overlap, making diagnosis difficult. In fact, IC is frequently misdiagnosed.

Bladder Prolapse - This condition occurs when the loss of pelvic muscle support causes the bladder to drop within the pelvic area. This may result in symptoms of pelvic and lower back pressure, inability to completely empty bladder, slow voiding stream to complete obstruction and inability to urinate.

Pelvic Relaxation and Prolapse

Painful Intercourse - (Known clinically as Dysparuenia.) Up to 2 out of 3 women experience painful intercourse at some time. The cause may be physical and/or emotional. Common causes include hormonal changes, aging, muscle dysfunction and may even be medication related. Pain may be experienced with vaginal entry during intercourse or after intercourse is finished and pain or discomfort may be experienced continually or intermittently for up to several days after intercourse.

Vaginal Infection - Chronic vaginitis or chronic vaginal infections may be related to yeast, sexually transmitted diseases such as Trichomoniasis, allergic reactions to soaps or feminine hygiene sprays, skin conditions such as lichen sclerosis, as well as certain diseases such as diabetes mellitus. Vaginal discharge, itching and foul odor may or may not be present.

Chronic Vaginal Pain - (Known clinically as Vulvodynia.) Many women complain of vaginal burning, stinging, irritation, rawness and/or stabbing pain in or around the vaginal area. These could be symptoms of a wide variety of disorders, among them Vaginismus usually caused by abnormal muscle tightening within the vagina, making vaginal penetration during intercourse almost unbearable. New research has provided new highly effective treatment for these conditions.

Vaginal Skin Disorders - Many women suffer from abnormality or degeneration of the vaginal tissue. These may range from simple thinning or thickening of tissues to the formation of lesions on the outside of the vagina.

Sexual and Vaginal Health

Vulvodynia - Vulvodynia, simply put, is chronic vulvar pain without an identifiable cause. The location, constancy and severity of the pain vary among sufferers. Some women experience pain in only one area of the vulva, while others experience pain in multiple areas. The most commonly reported symptom is burning, but women’s descriptions of the pain vary. One woman reported her pain felt like “acid being poured on my skin,” while another described it as “constant knife-like pain.” For more information visit nva.org.

Vaginismus - Vaginismus is vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems, or complete inability to have intercourse. For more information visit vaginismus.com.

Lichen Sclerosus - Lichen sclerosus is a long-term problem of the skin. It mostly affects the genital and anal areas. Sometimes, lichen sclerosus appears on the upper body, breasts, and upper arms. For more information visit niams.nih.gov.

Vaginal Atrophy - Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body's estrogen production declines. For more information visit mayoclinic.com.

Pelvic Relaxation and Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction - (Known clinically as Pelvic Organ Prolapse.) Up to 50 percent of women that have given birth will be affected by pelvic relaxation at some time in their lives. When the muscles of the pelvis floor become weakened due to childbirth, age, chronic coughing or other reasons, pelvic organs may drop out of position (prolapse). The bladder, rectum, vagina and uterus are most often affected and symptoms may be mild to severe.

Generally prolapse is caused by damage to muscles around the vagina. Usually these muscles are weakened through childbirth and with normal aging you may begin to have symptoms. Obesity, chronic cough, and chronic constipation with straining may worsen symptoms. These conditions, as well as others, may put constant pressure on the vagina which can ultimately lead to prolapse. When the muscles and tissues that normally support the bladder, uterus, rectum and intestines weaken and relax, the pelvic organs can prolapse (drop down) out of position, or herniate into each other.

There are different types of prolapse:

Bladder Prolapse (Cystocele)- The bladder bulges into the vagina

Vaginal Prolapse- The bulging of the top of the vagina and may be worsened by the intestines bulging into the herniated vagina.

Rectal Prolapse (Rectocele) the rectum bulges into the vagina

Uterine Prolapse-The uterus drops out of place into the vagina.

Pelvic Syndrome and Muscle Dysfunction

Chronic Pelvic Pain - Chronic pelvic pain is described as pain the area of the lower abdomen/bladder area that has been present for at least 6 months. The pain is often different for each woman, making diagnosis difficult. Women may report their pain as constant, intermittent, sharp, dull, severe or mild. Pain may be specific to one area or be generalized over a larger area. Frequently women also complain of pain with intercourse, with bowel movement or with prolonged sitting.

Postpartum Muscle Weakness - Pregnancy is associated with the natural relaxation of pelvic support in the body. This relaxation caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy may continue after childbirth and may be prolonged by breast feeding. Pelvic relaxation is often linked with leakage of urine or bowel, pelvic and hip joint pressure and pain, and lower extremity numbness. Women who experience tearing during childbirth and repair of the tearing (episiotomy) may be at increased risk for these problems. Strengthening of the pelvic muscles and treatment of urinary and stool leakage may be obtained through the services at Innovative Pelvic Health.

Rectal Pain - Rectal pain is often a referred pain pattern that is seen in Pelvic Floor Disorders. The pain may be caused by sensitive nerves and produces feelings of discomfort, difficulty with emptying the bowel and pain with moving bowels, and possibly referred pain to the groin, back or vaginal area. Treatment options may include management of constipation, biofeedback to re-educate the pelvic muscles, manometry and/or electric stimulation.

Menopause

Menopause is defined as a woman's final menstrual period and is considered a normal part of aging that affects every woman. It is currently estimated that approximately 6,000 women in the United States reach menopause every day. While all women experience menopause, the individual response to the physical, mental, social and lifestyle changes are as individualized as the women who experience them.

Many menopausal women are affected by hot flashes, night sweats, sleep interruptions, weight gain and vaginal, sexual or mental disturbances. The Women's Health Initiative Study (2002) caused considerable confusion surrounding hormone replacement therapy leaving both menopausal women as well as healthcare providers uncertain of safe therapeutic interventions.

Diagnosis - The diagnosis of menopause is generally made by gathering subjective information. However blood level evaluation of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and Estradiol levels can also provide definitive diagnosis of menopause.

Therapy - Currently therapeutic options include pharmaceutically prepared hormone therapy, non-prescription therapy, complementary and alternative medicine.

For more information visit nams.org.

Bowel Health

Constipation - A very common complaint that affects approximately 5% of the Western population. Constipation is defined as a decreased frequency of bowel movements — typically less than one every 3 days — that may require significant straining for evacuation. Causes for constipation can range from irregular bowel habits, low fiber diets, medications, diseases and abnormalities in the pelvic floor.

Stool and/or Gas Incontinence - The involuntary loss of gas, liquid or solid stool, and serious social or hygienic problem. Some common causes include childbirth, pelvic surgery, rectal muscle prolapse, hemorrhoids, spinal cord injury or lifestyle and environmental elements.

Chronic Diarrhea - Another common complaint that affects approximately 5% of the Western population. Occurs when the amount of liquid stool and the frequency of bowel movements are abnormally increased. Diarrhea may arise from intestinal surgery, bowel disease, laxative abuse, excessive exercising, anxiety, diet, parasites, medication or other systemic diseases.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - A group of symptoms causing the bowel not to work correctly. Common symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort resulting in complaints of cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation.

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