Pelvic floor dysfunction is not a single condition, but a term used to refer to multiple complications that affect the pelvic floor, pelvic bones, or lower back. The conditions may be caused by genetically weakened bones or muscle fibers, but other causes such as obesity, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth have also been identified. Pelvic floor dysfunction may also be caused by tightening (or inability to properly relax) of the pelvic floor muscles. This form of pelvic floor dysfunction causes constipation, or even an inability to control bowel movements.
Diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction may be done through a combination of looking at the individual's medical history and use of a defecating proctogram, in which the patient is given an enema and an x-ray records the flow of the liquid through the rectum. Treatment may be done through pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises) if the condition is mild, biofeedback techniques to aid in muscle coordination, or surgery may be required. In the case of pelvic floor dysfunction caused by tightening of the muscles, physical therapy may be an effective treatment. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a pelvic floor dysfunction to find the right treatment option for you.