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What are the symptoms of pelvic floor disorders?

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Because there are different types of PFDs, symptoms of different PFDs can overlap. For example, women with PFDs may1, 2, 3, 4:

  • Feel heaviness, fullness, pulling, or aching in the vagina that worsens by the end of the day or when they are having a bowel movement
  • See or feel a "bulge" or "something coming out" of the vagina
  • Have a hard time starting to urinate or emptying the bladder completely
  • Have frequent urinary tract infections
  • Leak urine when they are coughing, laughing, or exercising
  • Feel an urgent or frequent need to urinate
  • Feel pain while urinating
  • Leak stool or have a hard time controlling gas
  • Suffer constipation
  • Have a hard time making it to the bathroom in time

Some women with pelvic floor problems do not have symptoms at first.1 Many women are reluctant to tell their health care provider about embarrassing symptoms.1, 3 In addition, many women think that problems with bladder control are normal and live with their symptoms.1, 3 However, treatment is available and can help women with pelvic floor problems.


  1. Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. (n.d.). What are pelvic floor disorders? Retrieved May 15, 2012, from https://www.pfdnetwork.org/About/PelvicFloorDisorders.aspx External Web Site Policy [top]
  2. American Urogynecologic Society. (2008). Pelvic organ prolapse. Retrieved May 16, 2012, from http://www.voicesforpfd.org/p/cm/ld/fid=6 External Web Site Policy [top]
  3. American Urogynecologic Society. (2008). Bladder control problems. Retrieved May 16, 2012, from http://www.voicesforpfd.org/p/cm/ld/fid=8 External Web Site Policy [top]
  4. American Urogynecologic Society. (2008). Bowel control problems. Retrieved May 16, 2012, from http://www.voicesforpfd.org/p/cm/ld/fid=7 External Web Site Policy [top]

Last Updated Date: 10/21/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 09/13/2013
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