The Center for Pelvic Health

Pelvic Floor Disorders Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital

The Center for Pelvic Health

The Center for Pelvic Health at St. Joseph Hospital offers treatment for patients throughout Orange County and surrounding areas who experience physical, emotional and social issues associated with pelvic floor disorders.

Pelvic floor disorders, such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, are common conditions, affecting approximately one in three women nationwide. While pelvic floor disorders affect millions of people in the United States, patients are often reluctant to discuss these issues with their health care providers due to embarrassment. However, there are many treatments available and the Center for Pelvic Health is committed to helping women find relief from pelvic floor disorders and improve their quality of life.

What are Pelvic Floor Disorders?

The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues that are located at the lowest part of the pelvis. The pelvic floor is responsible for supporting the internal pelvic organs (bladder, vagina, uterus and rectum). Loss of support or dysfunction of these structures can lead to the following pelvic floor disorders.

  • Loss of Bowel Control - Accidental bowel leakage can occur due to many factors, including dietary choices, bowel motility issues and the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. This can result in unintended leakage of gas, liquid or solid stool.

  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse - Child bearing can result in stretching of the tissues that support the vaginal walls. When these tissues become stretched, prolapse of pelvic organs occurs. This is often referred to as a "dropped bladder." This can cause a sensation of pelvic pressure or heaviness.

  • Urinary Incontinence - The most common bladder control problems can be broadly divided into two groups:

    • Group one is called stress urinary incontinence and is characterized by leakage of urine with activities like coughing, laughing or sneezing.
    • Group two is called overactive bladder. Patients with this condition often have a strong desire to go to the bathroom very frequently and sometimes leak urine on the way.

Treatment options for pelvic floor disorders include:

  • dietary modification
  • pelvic floor physical therapy
  • medication
  • surgical repair (if necessary).

Meeting with one of our pelvic floor disorder experts will provide an opportunity to examine your individual condition and customize a treatment plan that works best for you.