Other Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFDs) FAQs

Basic information for topics, such as “What is it?” is available in the About Pelvic Floor Disorders section. In this section, find answers to other frequently asked questions (FAQs) specific to pelvic floor disorders.

Because researchers aren’t sure what causes PFDs in some women but not in others, there is no sure way to prevent them from occurring. However, there are some ways to reduce the risk of PFDs, including1:

  • Controlling weight and other lifestyle changes noted in the treatments information
  • Kegel exercises, done correctly and routinely
  • Not smoking and quitting smoking: Smoking can lead to a chronic cough, which stresses the pelvic floor.

Yes.2 Do not wait until your symptoms are “really bad” to get help. Without treatment, symptoms can get worse and may affect your self-esteem, your ability to do your job, your relationships, and many other aspects of daily living. In addition, buying products to deal with the symptoms of bladder or bowel control problems can be costly.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you see or feel a bulge of tissue in your vagina or have other symptoms, including changes in bladder and bowel control.

Surgical mesh is a medical device that is permanently implanted to provide strength and support to the pelvic floor. Three main types of surgery that use mesh have been used to treat pelvic floor problems3:

  • Transvaginal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse
  • Transabdominal mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse
  • Mid-urethral mesh sling to treat stress urinary incontinence

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer allows surgical mesh kits on the market for the transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse. Although there are currently no FDA-approved surgical mesh products for this type of repair on the market, it is important to note that women who have had this form of surgery do NOT need the mesh removed if they do not have problems. For more information, visit FDA’s page on Pelvic Organ Prolapse.


  1. Hallock, J. L., & Handa, V. L. (2016). The epidemiology of pelvic floor disorders and childbirth: An update. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, 43(1), 1–13.
  2. American Urogynecologic Society. (2017). Talk about “it.” Retrieved September 4, 2019, from https://www.voicesforpfd.org/about/talk-about-it/ external link
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019). Urogynecologic surgical mesh implants. Retrieved September 4, 2019, from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/urogynecologic-surgical-mesh-implants
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