What are the symptoms of pelvic floor disorders (PFDs)?

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

  • Feel heaviness, fullness, pulling, or aching in the vagina that gets worse by the end of the day or is related to a bowel movement
  • See or feel a “bulge” or “something coming out” of the vagina
  • Have difficulty starting to urinate or emptying the bladder completely
  • Leak urine when coughing, laughing, or exercising
  • Feel an urgent or frequent need to urinate
  • Feel pain while urinating
  • Leak stool or have difficulty controlling gas
  • Have constipation
  • Have difficulty 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 healthcare provider about symptoms because they may feel embarrassed.1 In addition, many women think that problems with bladder control are normal and live with their symptoms.3 However, bladder control problems are treatable, and these treatments can help women with pelvic floor problems.


  1. Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. (n.d.). What are pelvic floor disorders? Retrieved September 3, 2019, from https://pfdnetwork.azurewebsites.net/About/PelvicFloorDisorders.aspx external link
  2. American Urogynecologic Society. (2017). Pelvic organ prolapse: Symptoms & types. Retrieved September 3, 2019, from https://www.voicesforpfd.org/pelvic-organ-prolapse/symptoms-types external link
  3. American Urogynecologic Society. (2017). Bladder control. Retrieved September 3, 2019, from https://www.voicesforpfd.org/bladder-control external link
top of pageBACK TO TOP