Bowel movements are enabled by contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor dysfunction is when you lose the ability to correctly contract (tighten) and relax the muscles in the pelvic floor to have a bowel movement.

Disorders

  • Constipation: Difficulty emptying the bowels.
  • Dyssynergic pelvic floor muscle: Difficulty relaxing or coordinating the pelvic floor muscle to allow defecation.
  • Painful bowel movements.
  • Fecal incontinence: Inability to control bowel movements (involuntary leakage).
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Including lower abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and constipation or diarrhea.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: One of more of the pelvic organs descend out of their normal position into the vaginal canal.

Symptoms

  • Slow transit time.
  • Infrequent bowel movements (often less than twice a week).
  • Incomplete bowel emptying.
  • Involuntary bowel leakage
  • Abdominal discomfort.
  • Pain with evacuation of bowels.
  • Splinting or needing to change positions to complete a bowel movement.

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