Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy in Silver Spring and Rockville, MD
Urinary incontinence becomes more common as a woman gets older, but there are strategies for successful treatment. The physicians at Capital Women’s Care have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence so women in Silver Spring, Rockville, and Gaithersburg can lead healthier, more confident lives.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence can have several causes, but in most cases, it develops as a result of pelvic floor muscle
weakness which can develop as a result of an injury, weight gain, hormonal changes, nerve or muscle issues,
or even age. Vaginal birth and some types of gynecological surgery may also weaken pelvic floor muscles over
time. There are three primary types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence that causes bladder leakage during physical exertion or as a result of sneezing,
coughing or laughing.
- Urge incontinence (also called overactive bladder) that causes frequent urges to urinate, even when
sleeping at night
- Mixed incontinence, which includes both stress incontinence and urge incontinence
Different diagnostic methods are used to determine the type of incontinence that’s present so treatment can
be optimized based on each patient’s unique needs and symptoms.
The board-certified OBGYNs at Capital Women’s Care have extensive experience diagnosing and treating women throughout the Silver Spring and Rockville area for urinary incontinence. They will take the time to fully evaluate your symptoms in order to determine the treatment option that is right for you. To schedule your annual exam, call (301) 681-9101 to request an appointment at our OBGYN office in Silver Spring or Rockville.
What is pelvic floor muscle therapy (PFMT)?
Pelvic floor therapy is a type of physical therapy or exercise program that focuses on the pelvic floor,
including the muscles and connective tissues that help hold the pelvic organs (including the bladder, vagina,
uterus, and rectum) in place. PFMT, is a painless treatment option which comes with a 70-80 % success rate
of significantly improving symptoms and has no side effects.
Pelvic floor therapy begins with a health assessment and an examination to determine the existing strength
of the pelvic floor muscles and to decide which exercises will be most beneficial in achieving results. Patients
are taught how to identify and focus on their pelvic floor muscles so exercises are more effective. Pelvic floor
stimulation is then performed in our office with a vaginal and/or rectal sensor. A mild electrical stimulus is
used to stimulate pelvic muscles and causes a comfortable, timed contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. This
will feel like a gentle tapping sensation and you will feel the muscle contract.
Who benefits from PFMT?
Bladder and pelvic issues affect millions of Americans. In Europe, the standard of care for every postpartum
mom is to receive pelvic floor strengthening after she delivers a baby. The goal is to strengthen and
rehabilitate the muscles of the pelvic floor thereby reducing the occurrence of postpartum incontinence and
pelvic organ prolapse and to also help restore sexual function.
Recently, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologist have recommended this as a standard of care
and we are so excited to be able to offer this program to our patients in the comfort and convenience of our
office. Our goal is to return our patients to a life of health and independence.
How often will I need this treatment?
After your initial visit, you will be asked to return to the office for intermittent pelvic floor stimulation
treatments. These visits will take approximately 30 minutes. A positive change in your symptoms should be
noticed in 3 to 4 treatments if this therapy is going to be successful for you. We recommend appointments
every 1 to 2 weeks initially depending on your symptoms and progress. The average number of visits is 6 to 8.
How can I tell if I’m a good candidate for pelvic floor muscle therapy?
Talk to your OBGYN to determine if pelvic floor therapy is a good choice and have a routine assessment. PFMT
is covered by most insurance plans, and restores confidence.
PFMT can also treat other conditions:
- Stress incontinence
- Urinary frequency
- Interstitial cystitis
- Overactive bladder
- Fecal incontinence
- Rectal pain
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Urge incontinence
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Chronic constipation
- Pelvic floor relaxation
- Postmenopausal atrophy