Overview of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Associated with Pregnancy
Originally Published In
International Journal of Childbirth Education
The pelvic floor consists of several muscles that span the area underneath the pelvis. These muscles have several important functions, including maintenance of urinary and fecal continence, providing support to pelvic organs (such as the bladder, intestines, and the uterus), and facilitating childbirth. During pregnancy and childbirth, changes in the pelvic floor musculature and innervation can lead to dysfunction, causing urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and fecal incontinence. Pelvic floor muscle training is a method that can be used during pregnancy and after childbirth to help prevent and treat these changes.