Care for Pelvic Conditions Relating to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Whether you’re pregnant, you’ve recently delivered a baby, or you’re adjusting to being a new mom, the period during and after pregnancy (known as peripartum) is a stressful time for many women. And if you’ve developed a pelvic floor disorder (PFD) because of your pregnancy or delivery, it can be even more stressful.
However, PFDs aren’t just a concern in the immediate postpartum period. Even if you’re in your 60s or older, past pregnancies and childbirths may contribute to your development of a PFD.
Our team of expert providers at Baystate Health has developed a team-based approach to caring for women with peripartum PFDs. We’re the first healthcare system in western Massachusetts to create this sort of specialized program. We’re here to make sure you receive the right kind of care to improve your quality of life.
Postpartum Pelvic Floor Disorders We Treat
Some of the many postpartum PFDs our team can help you address include:
- Bladder conditions, such as urinary incontinence (an inability to hold back urine), urinary retention (trouble emptying all the urine out of your bladder), and overactive bladder
- Bowel conditions, such as fecal incontinence, or fistula (an abnormal connection between the bowel and vagina, which can let feces leak through)
- Third- and fourth-degree perineal lacerations (tears or injuries to the tissue around the vagina and rectum), including those that are complex or delayed in healing
- Vaginal bulges or pressure, which may be the result of pelvic organ prolapse (when organs in the pelvis, such as the uterus, bowel, bladder, or the top of the vagina, fall downward into the vagina because the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and can’t support them)
- Vaginal cysts (tissue filled with air or fluid)
- Other conditions, such as sexual dysfunction or weakness in the pelvic muscles
Symptoms of Postpartum Pelvic Floor Disorders
It’s common for women who are pregnant or who have just had a baby to think it’s normal to leak urine occasionally or often or have pain, pressure, or bulges in the vaginal area. However, if your condition is affecting your quality of life, then it’s worth asking your doctor about.
Common problems that can signal a peripartum PFD include:
- Urine leakage, particularly when laughing or sneezing
- A bulging sensation in the vagina
- Pain in the vagina or perineal area
- Pain during sex
How We Diagnose and Treat Postpartum Pelvic Floor Disorders
We’ll start with a comprehensive, focused evaluation of your pelvic floor (the muscles that support the organs in your pelvis). This evaluation may include a specialized ultrasound of your pelvis so we can see the structures inside and how they’re interacting with one another.
Once we understand your condition, we’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that’s personalized to you and your symptoms. Your treatment plan may include:
- Pelvic floor physical therapy
Because we’re part of the Baystate Health network, we can refer you to other providers for other conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, such as our behavioral health team if you need help addressing postpartum depression.
Get Help With Your Pelvic Floor Disorder
Find out how we can help improve your quality of life.