RESOURCES FOR DAILY LIVING

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As we’ve covered in previous posts, the pelvic floor is a complex system of muscles with two major functions: supporting the vagina and pelvic organs, and maintaining urinary and bowel continence.

But when those muscles are damaged (especially after childbirth), bladder, rectal, or uterine tissue may begin to bulge into the vagina. In serious cases, women may see or feel these tissues protruding through the opening of their vagina. This is known as pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and it’s more common than you think, with researchers estimating that one in three women will undergo surgery for some type of pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime.


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Urinary leakage is a surprisingly common health problem, affecting 40 percent of women in the U.S. every year.

For many women, it’s not uncommon to leak urine when laughing hard, coughing, sneezing, or exercising. For some, it’s a once-in-awhile embarrassment, but for others it can be a messier daily dilemma. But the good news is that there are more treatments than ever for female urinary incontinence, from at-home exercises to pelvic floor therapy or surgery. The most important thing to know is that urinary leakage and incontinence is not something you have to suffer silently, and you won’t shock your doctor by mentioning it.


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Accidental bowel leakage affects a significant part of the population  — 1 in 10 people at some time in their lives — and is much more common in women than in men. It’s a difficult topic that many are embarrassed to discuss, but it can affect women of all stages of life, from new mothers to the elderly.

The good news is that, the more the medical community has come to understand what causes involuntary bowel leakage, the more we’ve been able to develop effective treatments. Rest assured, accidental bowel leakage does not have to diminish your quality of life.


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There’s one very important muscle that most gym trainers don’t mention: Your pelvic floor.

Like any muscle group, your pelvic floor requires routine exercise to stay strong and function properly. And for women, the pelvic floor serves a pretty important function: It’s the sheet of muscle that supports the bladder, uterus, and bowel.

To keep your pelvic floor functioning properly — and to prevent everything from injury, such as pelvic organ prolapse, to involuntary bladder or bowel leakage — here are five ways to keep this key muscle group strong and healthy. 


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The female pelvic system is a complex network of muscles and nerves, so it’s hardly surprising that giving birth can have lasting effects on the body. Luckily, as the field of urogynecology grows, doctors are better able to understand just how the pelvic system is impacted by pregnancy and childbirth, and how to help women who have sustained injuries as a result.

Here are several important things to know about childbirth injury, their causes, their symptoms, and how they can be treated.


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