Nearly 25 percent of all women suffer from at least one type of pelvic health disorder including urinary or fecal incontinence during their lifetime. The MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women specializes in care specifically for women. They offer a caring and comfortable environment where you can express your health concerns and receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Your body has just gone through some incredible changes over the past 9 months to prepare for the birth of your new baby. Now that your baby is here, do not forget to allow time for your own body to heal and recover from the pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Childbirth and pregnancy can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and damage supporting connective tissue. This can create many uncomfortable and distressing symptoms related to bladder, bowel, and sexual function. The following are some common conditions following childbirth:
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Difficulty controlling gas
- Urinary or fecal urgency
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Diastasis recti
- Painful scar
Although these conditions are common, they certainly should not be considered “normal”, and can be effectively treated with pelvic physical therapy. Women who experience 3rd or 4th degree perineal tears during vaginal childbirth can greatly benefit from postpartum pelvic physical therapy.
Pelvic physical therapy is a specialized area of physical therapy that focuses on evaluation and treatment of the muscles in the pelvic region which are responsible for supporting pelvic organs, maintaining bladder and bowel control, and contributing to sexual function. There are a wide variety of treatment options targeted specifically to improve pelvic muscle strength and restore confidence so patients can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Following childbirth, physical therapists can help patients strengthen pelvic floor muscles to prevent urine leaks, assist in restoring abdominal tone and mobilize scars for faster healing. They can also teach proper lifting techniques for moms to use when caring for their new baby.
If you are currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, would like to be proactive in your recovery, or have other questions, feel free to contact the MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women at 515-222-7474. You can also discuss with your OB provider, who can place a referral for pelvic physical therapy.
About the authors:
JoAnn Green, MS, PT, has worked in Women’s Health since 2002. She is a women’s health specialist at the MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women in Clive. She has trained under Women’s Health experts, Hollis Herman and Kathe Wallace. Her training includes biofeedback training, treatment of urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, constipation, fecal incontinence, pregnancy related problems, postpartum care, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Her desire to educate others is evident as a DMU preceptor since 2014, and Mercy WOCN preceptor since 2013.
Jessica Gengler, PT, DPT has focused her attention on the practice of pelvic health and rehabilitation for the past 4 years. She specializes in treating women and men with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, particularly chronic pelvic pain, bowel dysfunction, bladder dysfunction including urinary incontinence, and prenatal and postpartum conditions. Jessica has advanced training in both internal and external pelvic floor muscle assessment and treatment, as well as training in skilled use of biofeedback and dry needling interventions.
To schedule an appointment, please call 515-222-7474.
Connect with MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women
MercyOne Comfort Health Center for Women
1601 NW 114th Street, Suite 151
Clive, Iowa 50325