Learn more about conditions of the pelvic floor


Conditions of the pelvic floor can be related to:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Years of heavy lifting or straining
  • Physical exercise
  • Chronic coughing or vomiting
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Menopause
  • Pelvic surgery, such as hysterectomy

Common symptoms and conditions

Some common symptoms of damage to the pelvic floor are:

  • Leaking or dribbling of either urine or stool
  • Feeling like you have to go to the bathroom a lot
  • Feeling constant pressure in the vagina
  • Feeling like you are sitting on a ball
  • Feeling a protrusion from the vagina, like a part of the inside of the body is hanging out
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Problems after placement of pelvic mesh
  • Pain in the pelvic area during intercourse, urination or bowel movements

Your symptoms could be caused by conditions like these:

  • Incontinence, when urine or stool leaks from the body unexpectedly, such as when you cough or sneeze
  • Emptying disorders, such as trouble emptying the bladder all the way or trouble having bowel movements (stool)
  • Fistulas, or openings between organs such as the bladder, vagina and bowel
  • Overactive bladder (OAB), which causes a frequent urge to urinate that might be hard to control
  • Pelvic organ prolapse, when parts of the pelvic area prolapse, or fall out of normal position. This includes prolapse of the uterus, rectum (rectocele), bladder (cystocele) and small bowel (enterocele), and of the vagina after hysterectomy
  • Urinary tract infections: acute infections or those that occur often
  • Issues with a vaginal or pelvic mesh

If you have any of these symptoms or conditions, contact us. We’re experts in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.

See a short video to learn from VCU Health’s Ashley Carroll, MD, about treating incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders.