Pelvic Floor Dysfunction In Men
Pelvic pain and pelvic dysfunction affect millions of men. The pelvic floor area is a group of muscles running from the pubic bone to the tailbone and helps with bowel, bladder, and sexual function. These muscles are like any other muscles in the body and can be strong or weak. Weak pelvic floor muscles and dysfunction causes sexual and urinary problems.
When you are unable to control these muscles to have a bowel movement, cease urinary flow, or control erections and ejaculation, you may be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction. People with this type of dysfunction contract the muscles rather than relax them.
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- The feeling of needing to have many bowel movements in a short period of time
- Feeling that you cannot finish a bowel movement
- Constipation or staining pain
- Frequent need to urinate
- Starting and stopping urination
- Painful urination
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
Pelvic floor dysfunction can usually be treated without surgery. Treatment types include physical therapy and home exercises:
- Avoid straining or pushing while urinating or having a bowel movement
- Relaxation techniques including warm baths, yoga, and exercises
- Low-dose muscle relaxers
- Biofeedback with a physical therapist. This includes using sensors to monitor the pelvic floor muscles and providing feedback to the patient on how to improve muscle function
- Identify the muscles by ceasing urination mid-stream. This is not an exercise but will help you identify the pelvic floor muscle.
- Squeeze this muscle in front of the mirror. The penis should draw in and the scrotum should lift up. These exercises are called kegels. Be careful not to use the muscles in the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
- Work on your posture to avoid putting pressure on the bladder
- In rare cases, surgery may be necessary if your dysfunction is a result of a rectal prolapse – when the tissue that lines the rectum moves into the anal opening
Home exercises and diligence are great ways to lessen the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Learning relaxation techniques, stretching the muscles, and maintaining good posture can begin strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and ease your symptoms. A physician can provide treatment recommendations for your dysfunction. Within a few weeks to month, you should see improvement with urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, post-urination dribbling, erectile dysfunction, and/or ejaculatory dysfunction.