Common Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions

1) Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is leakage of urine in inappropriate times.

  • Stress Incontinence:  Leakage of small amounts of urine when there is increased pressure on the bladder.  Occurs with exercise, sneezing, coughing, lifting, or other activities. Usually results from weakness and lack of support in the muscles of the pelvic floor. Women with stress incontinence often have “under active” pelvic floor muscles.
  • Urge Incontinence: Leakage of medium to large amounts of urine when a person feels a sudden strong urge to urinate. Women with urge incontinence often have weak and “overactive” pelvic floor muscles.
  • Mixed Incontinence: Any combination of the causes of stress and urge incontinence
  • Functional Incontinence: Leakage of urine that occurs when a person cannot get to the toilet in time. Typically, the person has joint pain, muscle weakness or problems with mobility.

2) Pelvic Pain

General term for pain below the belly button, but above hips.

  • Pain can be referred from the organs in your pelvic area: uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, vagina, urinary tract, lower intestines, or rectum
  • Symptom of infections or chronic infections
  • Caused by muscular and skeletal problems, including SIJ and coccyx dysfunction

Pain can occur differently in many women.

  • Ranges from mild to severe and/or dull to sharp.
  • Severe cramping during periods
  • Pain with penetration or thrusting
  • Pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement.

Pelvic Prolapse

Occurs when pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are weak or injured and the internal organ(s) begin to “fall out” into the vaginal canal.

Types of Prolapse:

  • Cystocele: bladder bulges into the vaginal canal
  • Rectocele: rectum bulges into the vaginal canal
  • Uterine or Vaginal Prolapse: uterus falls through the vaginal canal


  • Feeling of a heavy pelvis
  • Feeling of “falling out”
  • Feeling of sitting on insides
  • Trouble urinating or with bowel movement

If you are having any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with our pelvic floor physical therapists, Dr. Rachel Miller and Dr. Jamie Roskos. 

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