Pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) are a group of conditions that affect the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor includes the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis. It supports your organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. The pelvic floor prevents these organs from falling down or out of your body. It also helps the organs function properly.
What Causes PFDs?
In general, a pelvic floor disorder is due to weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue. A damaged pelvic floor cannot continue to provide the support that your organs need to work effectively. As this structure weakens, normal functioning of the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum can be affected.
There are many causes of PFDs. In addition, research is ongoing. Some of the reasons women develop PFDs are better understood than other reasons. There is a strong need for continued research in this field. The PFD Research Foundation funds researchers and clinical scientists looking for the answers.
Did you know?
- Your brain controls the muscles of the pelvic floor by way of nerves.
- Health conditions or injuries that affect the nerves (such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, back surgery, spinal stenosis, or childbirth) can weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
Original publication date: May 2008; Content updated: November 2014