Pelvic floor dysfunction

Definition and Facts

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common condition where you can’t correctly relax and coordinate the muscles in your pelvic floor to urinate or have a bowel movement.


  • Having to frequently start and stop when you’re trying to pee
  • Straining or pushing to pass a bowel movement
  • Having to change positions on the toilet or use your hand to eliminate stool
  • Fecal incontinence or leaking stool
  • Urinary incontinence or leaking urine
  • Painful urination
  • Unexplained low back pain
  • Ongoing pain in your pelvic region, genitals or rectum – with or without a bowel movement


  • Traumatic injuries to your pelvic area
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual trauma
  • Overusing your pelvic muscles
  • Prior pelvic surgery
  • Aging
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Connective tissue disorders


  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Biofeedback, the most common treatment that usually occurs alongside with physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Trigger point injections

Kumkum Patel MD, MPH

Board-certified Gastroenterologist.
IBS and Motility Specialist

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