Pelvic Floor Dysfunction After Giving Birth

It’s not the most talked about topic, but if you’ve given birth, you’ve probably experienced some pelvic floor dysfunction. A local professional explains what it is and when it may be time to get help.

Do you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or lift heavy items? Have you felt the urge to go to the bathroom as soon as the key gets in the door and then you leak? When you hear water running, do you feel the sudden urge to run to the bathroom? Or, did you tear during delivery or other trauma/abuse, and now you have pain with gynecological exams, using a tampon or intercourse? These are all examples of different types of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Many women ask if it is normal to leak urine after you have given birth. For a short time after childbirth, your pelvic floor muscles are overstretched and weakened, but IT IS NOT NORMAL TO LEAK URINE. Some women experience some leaking for a short time after childbirth, but if it persists for more than 2-3 months, going to a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor therapy can help.

Another pelvic floor issue that can result from childbirth is called “prolapse.” During pregnancy, the increase in hormones causes the ligaments in the body to become looser.  This happens in the ligaments of the abdomen as well. This coupled with the weight of the fetus can cause a downward descent of the internal organs. Pushing incorrectly during labor can also cause the organs to prolapse. There are different types of prolapse: uterine, bladder and rectal. Strengthening the pelvic floor, biofeedback and learning different positions that can help support your internal organs are very helpful. In extreme cases, surgery may be an option.

On the contrary, there are types of pelvic floor dysfunction where there is tightness or pain. This can be from tearing during childbirth, an episiotomy scar that did not heal well, or trauma to the pelvic floor. This could be from a bad fall, an accident or abuse. Manual therapy, soft tissue release, biofeedback and pelvic floor exercises can help.

By Rachelle Bojer, guest contributor. For more information about pelvic floor dysfunction and how physical therapy can help, visit or contact Rachelle at 631-629-5507.

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