One in three women have a pelvic floor disorder, yet many women refuse to seek treatment, leaving them to suffer in silence, according to new research issued by the Pelvic Floor Disorder (PFD) Alliance.
The lack of awareness and stigma around these issues prompted the PFD Alliance to launch a public awareness campaign to help women impacted by pelvic floor disorders and minimize any discomfort around seeking education and treatment for the condition. The campaign, “Break Free from PFDs,” aims to help women understand the facts about PFDs and empower them with information on how to pursue individualized solutions for improved quality of life.
PFDs include conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The conditions develop when pelvic organs drop, or proplase, into the vaginal cavity, causing pain, urinary incontinence, and sexual discomfort.
“PFDs are very common, yet women often avoid the topic for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they think it’s a normal part of aging – which it’s not,” says Karen Noblett, MD, Professor and Division Director for Urogynecology at the University of California, Irvine. “PFDs can impact various aspects of life, everything from exercise and travel to confidence and sexual intimacy, bur women should not be embarrassed or feel like they just have to live with it. Instead, we want to empower women to speak up with confidence.”
According to the new PFD Alliance survey, one in three American women are not sure what to do if they have PFD. In fact, nearly 40 percent of women say they would manage a PFD with over-the-counter supplies, such as pads, or wait until they are uncomfortable before taking any action. Although minimally invasive procedures exist to correct PFDs, only one in five women report they would undergo a surgical procedure to correct the problem.
One reason why they may be hesitant to have surgery is because or reports of transvaginal mesh products used in some PFD repairs have caused serious complications, the need for more surgeries, worsening symptoms, and even death in some women. The FDA has even issued a warning that the mesh carries a high risk for complications.
There are several safer options for women suffering with PFDs. Women are encouraged to discuss their treatment options with their doctors.
Source: The Sacramento Bee