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How A Healthy Pelvic Floor Helps You Live Better

Bringing awareness to an essential muscle support system
Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

From back pain during menstruation or menopause to incontinence after pregnancy, if you’re a woman who has experienced pain and does not know what to do about it, you’re not alone. These might sound like stand-alone issues, but it’s possible your pelvic floor could use some attention. 

The small but mighty pelvic floor muscles are an essential support system in women’s bodies, but they are often overlooked. Pelvic floor muscles control the uterus, bladder and bowel functions. They also play a role in normal sexual function and help support your baby during pregnancy. Your pelvic floor is essential to living a healthy and comfortable life, but, unfortunately, many women delay bringing up the topic to their physician or try to live with the pain.

Disorders related to your pelvic floor muscles can affect you physically and mentally. Pregnancy, childbirth or chronic constipation can cause your pelvic floor to weaken and lead to issues like a lack of bladder or bowel control, lower back pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. As a consequence, you might feel uncomfortable with your body. Maybe you avoid laughing due to the fear of leaking urine, or you feel insecure during intercourse.

The good news is that treatment options are available to help you live a confident and comfortable life. 

Breaking Through Barriers To Receive the Care You Need

As understandable as it is that you feel uncomfortable bringing up your pelvic floor health to medical professionals, know that they are there to help by providing a listening ear, discussing potential treatments or referring you to other medical experts.

One of those experts is Tiffany Jackson, MD, OBGYN, on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano. As a specialist in gynecology and advanced minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries, she says, “It is essential to have an open relationship with your healthcare provider. You can bring up every topic related to your pelvic floor health. Never feel like you have to struggle with a condition.”

According to Dr. Jackson, one example of when it’s time to seek care is when dealing with heavy menstrual bleeding or painful periods that make you miss out on life. Subsequent treatments can range from an incision-free radiofrequency therapy that helps improve your menstrual bleeding within months to surgical removal of the uterus.

If you are dealing with issues like recurrent urinary incontinence or bladder prolapse, consider contacting a urogynecologist specialized in those pelvic floor disorders. 

Timothy Sandmann, MD, Urogynecologist, on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Mckinney, is one of those specialists. He says, “More solutions are available for women than they think to help them with these problems. There’s no need to feel bashful when talking to your physician.”

Besides being treated at a medical facility, you can also undergo at-home treatment. Physical exercises like squats and lunges or bladder training by keeping a urinary diary can aid recovery for an overactive bladder. And when dealing with bowel problems, your physician can prescribe medications like stool softeners or laxatives.

For many women, meeting regularly with a pelvic floor therapist can help alleviate symptoms. Nguyen Nguyen, MD, on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Centennial, mentions, “The healing process takes time. When done correctly, pelvic floor therapy can improve urinary incontinence and slow the progression of pelvic floor prolapse. However, it’s important to remember that restoring your pelvic floor does not happen overnight. It takes an effort to strengthen those muscles again.” Pelvic floor therapy can provide exercises to help regain strength in your pelvic floor muscles so you can return to doing what you love.

Taking Steps To Improve Your Pelvic Health

With this information, we hope you feel empowered and confident to seek help or advice about your pelvic floor health. Via Baylor Scott & White Health’s healthcare system, you have access to various medical experts who can further assist you. Please don’t hesitate to look for more information at

Physicians provide clinical services as members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of those medical centers or Baylor Scott & White Health.