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Research

Symptoms

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Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Disorders

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The following is a list of symptoms or complaints we compiled from both research findings and a consumer-oriented website [1,2,3].

  • Feeling a lump in the vagina or vaginal pressure or pain
  • "Fullness" in the vagina, rectum, or both
  • Frequent, irritating bowel and bladder symptoms (difficulty urinating, incontinence, or difficulty having a bowel movement)
  • Difficulty starting urination or completing a bowel movement without pushing on the lump (prolapse) with a finger
  • An "insides are falling out sensation"
  • Inability to keep a tampon in
  • Pain with sexual intercourse
  • Lack of sexual sensation
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The Difficulty...

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The problem is, many women with disabilities can’t feel the symptoms of pain or pressure. In addition, many already have bladder and/or bowel leakage or incontinence. These women would be unable to tell if these issues were related to disability or a form of pelvic floor dysfunction. This can lead to the pelvic floor disorder becoming worse if she does not share this with her doctor.

Again, this is why we are working with a team of medical advisors and community advisors to determine the best way to measure pelvic floor dysfunction in women with disabilities.

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References

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  1. Palm, S., It’s Time To Take Pelvic Organ Prolapse Out Of The Closet, in Community Blog: Below Your Belt. 2010, Women's Health Foundation.
  2. Swift, S.E., S.B. Tate, and J. Nicholas, Correlation of symptoms with degree of pelvic organ support in a general population of women: what is pelvic organ prolapse? Am J Obstet Gynecol, 2003. 189(2): p. 372-7; discussion 377-9.
  3. Persu, C., et al., Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification System (POP–Q) – a new era in pelvic prolapse staging. J Med Life, 2011. 4(1): p. 75-81.