Having surgery for a pelvic floor disorder is a huge decision, often because it can take a long time to recover from such a surgery. Many urogynecologists will suggest some home treatments and exercises first before committing to a surgery. Here are some common treatments and exercises for pelvic floor disorders that you can easily practice during the day.
Kegels, or pelvic floor muscular training, is the process of squeezing your pelvic floor muscles tight against your body and the relaxing them. This exercise works best if you perform it on a regular basis, which is easy because no one knows that you're performing this exercise. While you're driving to work or in the grocery store, you can tighten and then relax your pelvic floor muscles in sets of ten. Hold each tightening for at least five seconds, trying to work your way up to ten seconds or more.
This is also an excellent exercise to help women who have given birth to tighten everything back up that might have been loosened during child birth.
2. Vaginal Pessary
Another option is to insert a vaginal pessary. A vaginal pessary is a plastic stopper that a woman can insert into her vagina that will provide support for everything in that area, including the bladder. These plastic items have been shown to increase overall bladder control and cause the muscles to automatically tighten to hold the stopper in place. When the muscles tighten naturally, they will slowly get stronger so that the pessary is no longer necessary.
If you decide that you want to try using a vaginal pessary, make sure that you talk to your urogynecologist. He or she will need to perform a special fitting in order to make sure that you are comfortable and that the pessary is situated correctly. Your urogynecologist will also inform you of the best ways to care for and disinfect the pessary, which will keep you from getting sick.
3. Inject Bulking Agents
This can either be done at home or in a doctors office. By injecting bulking agents near the bladder, the bladder tissue will become thicker and close off any larger openings that might be causing loose bladder problems or leakage. Talk to your doctor about this option. You will likely need to have an injection every three months in order to keep the thicker tissue from thinning out again.
For more information, talk to a urogynecology clinic like Western Branch Center for Women.