Talking to Your Healthcare Provider abou

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider about Pelvic Floor Issues Part 1
Less than 50% of women seek care for incontinence issues. This could be for a variety of reasons, but in general most people are unsure of how or who to discuss their pelvic floor concerns with. Unlike back pain, pelvic floor issues are not generally visible or highly discussed among friends, co-workers, or even family members. Despite the difficulty, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider about pelvic floor concerns as this can highly impact both your health and quality of life.
First things first, when should you be concerned about your pelvic floor? This list covers the main concerns; however pelvic floor dysfunction can be associated with other symptoms as well.
1.) Significant and/or persistent change in bowel or bladder function, including constipation, incontinence, urgency, frequency, incomplete emptying, or pain.
2.) Changes in sexual function including changes in arousal, erectile capabilities, ejaculatory/orgasm capabilities, dryness, or pain.
3.) Any numbness, tingling, or pain in the saddle region. Pain at the pelvic floor generally occurs with sitting, but can occur with any activity depending on the cause and source of the pain.
4.) Sensation of fullness, heaviness, or pressure at the perineum.
Your healthcare provider will likely have a series of questions to get more details about your symptoms. The better and more detailed information you can give your provider, the more apt he or she will be able to properly diagnose and treat you. Here are some important details to pay attention to prior to your visit.
1.) When did your symptoms start?
2.) Is there a pattern in your symptoms? (daily, weekly, monthly?)
3.) What activities trigger your symptoms?
4.) Is there any anything you can do to lessen your symptoms?
5.) Have there been any changes in your diet, stress or activity levels?
6.) Have you had any births? How many and were there any complications? (c-section, episiotomy, forceps?)
In part 2 of this topic I will cover who to talk to and what questions you should be asking your provider to make sure you get the best care. For now, start to track (but try not to obsess!) over the above details so you can provide the best information to your healthcare provider!

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