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Helping You Take Control

Pelvic floor disorders can make you may feel like you've lost control. We can help you regain it.

Coronavirus Information from Penn Urogynecology

At Penn Medicine, our highest priority is making sure you get the care you need, when you need it, in the safest way possible.

Appointments and Procedures: How We're Keeping You Safe

We've implemented new safety protocols for in-person appointments and procedures. We are continually evaluating patient care to improve treatment and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Bladder and Pelvic Floor Health

If you think that urinary incontinence and bladder problems only affect elderly women, think again. Bladder and pelvic floor health issues are also common among younger, more active women as well. Nearly 13 million Americans have experienced some form of incontinence, including women in their teens, 20s and 30s.

Because of the embarrassment associated with urinary incontinence and other bladder or pelvic floor disorders, many women suffer in silence. Daily tasks may become more difficult, since coughing, laughing or sneezing may trigger an accident. Fortunately, there are now simple solutions and enhanced treatments available for these disorders.

What are bladder and pelvic floor disorders?

Bladder and pelvic floor disorders, also known as urogynecologic disorders, include any pain or dysfunction in the area of the uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder or rectum. The primary types of bladder and pelvic floor disorders are:

  •     Urinary incontinence – two main types of urinary incontinence are:
    •     Stress incontinence – tiny leaks that occur when motions such as coughing, sneezing or laughing stresses the bladder
    •     Urge incontinence – also called “overactive bladder,” this is the urgent need to go to the bathroom followed by an involuntary loss of urine
  •     Fecal incontinence – the involuntary loss of solid or liquid stool that can result in impaired quality of life for an individual
  •     Pelvic organ prolapse – described as a fallen bladder, uterus, vagina or rectum
  •     Fistulas – vesicovaginal or rectovaginal - an opening between the wall of the vagina and the wall of the bladder or rectum which can lead to urine leakage
  •     Complex benign conditions of the vagina and urethra such as vaginal cysts, absence of vagina, and urethral diverticulums
  •     Other problems with urination or pelvic floor

Who is affected by bladder and pelvic floor disorders?

Although urogynecologic problems can affect women of any age, post-menopausal women and women who have given birth are more likely to experience these problems. Pregnancy and childbirth can damage the tissues supporting the pelvic organs, while bladder support naturally weakens as a women ages. All of these factors can lead to weakened supportive tissue and damage to the nerves that control bladder function.

Frequently Asked Questions

Penn Medicine's urogynecologists are available to answer your questions about bladder and pelvic floor health.

Postpartum Pelvic Floor Recovery Program

Specifically designed to help women who suffer from bladder and pelvic dysfunction after delivery

Treatments and Procedures

The division of urogynecology at Penn offers comprehensive, efficient, state-of-the-art services for a variety of bladder and pelvic floor disorders.

Women's Accidental Bowel Leakage Program

Providing treatment and support for women experiencing accidental bowel leakage (ABL)

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