Doctors and medical professionals at UT Health Austin’s Women’s Health Institute are working together to change the conversation about pelvic health. They are creating a place where women can feel comfortable talking about chronic pelvic pain and what they can do to stop suffering and get relief.
What is the pelvic floor?
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Maureen Christian explains that the pelvic floor is made up of a complex, hammock-shaped muscles that hold organs in place. These muscles contract to keep urine and feces from exiting the body when they are not supposed to, but also relax when it’s time for them to exit the body. Additionally, these muscles stretch and relax when it is time for a baby to be born and serve a sexual function as well.
What pelvic floor disorders do you treat?
Pelvic disorders manifest in many different ways. Women may be familiar hearing about urinary and fecal incontinence, but the Women’s Health Institute also treats conditions which benefit from pelvic floor therapy including chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, pain with sex, and vulvar conditions. Pelvic floor therapy can help by providing musculoskeletal relief for these conditions.
How successful is pelvic floor therapy?
Pelvic floor conditions are treated using a whole-person approach with the women’s health care team to help them navigate barriers that impede a woman’s recovery. As part of this multi-faceted care team, Maureen and UT Health Austin’s Pelvic Floor Program Director Dr. Uchenna Ossai, work with patients to bring about successful treatment for pelvic pain. Maureen reminds patients that the problems women experience didn’t happen overnight, but with diligence, patience and hard work, pelvic floor therapy can help bring relief.
When should a woman talk to her provider about involving a pelvic floor therapist in their treatment?
Women should talk to their provider at the earliest signs of pelvic pain. Ms. Christian reminds women they do not have to suffer with pain, and urinary incontinence should not be considered a normal part of the aging process.
To learn more about Pelvic Floor Therapy and Women’s Health Service at UT Health Austin visit: uthealthaustin.org or call 1-833-UT-CARES.