2006 Brookwood Medical Center Drive, Ste. 405
Birmingham, AL 35209

Pelvic Floor Muscle Rehabilitation

Healthy pelvic floor muscles protect women from incontinence and prolapse.  Many times these muscles become weak with time or injury such as after childbirth.  Pelvic floor muscle strengthening and retraining can improve bladder and bowel control as well as decrease symptoms of prolapse such as pressure and bulging with early stages of prolapse.

Many women will try Kegel exercises but become frustrated when they either do not improve the bothersome symptoms or women feel like they are not doing them correctly.  Kegels or pelvic floor exercises are challenging to do correctly which is why Pelvic Floor Rehab can be beneficial.

Women undergo guided pelvic floor muscle retraining using a special set of sensors. During this training, women learn how to correctly use their Pelvic Floor Muscles to improve symptoms associated with various pelvic floor disorders.  

This guided pelvic floor muscle training helps women learn to use their pelvic floor muscles in a meaningful way to treat urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and early stages of pelvic organ prolapse.  It can also help reduce the risk of progression or recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse.  During this training, women learn to isolate their “Kegel” muscle and strengthen it to improve pelvic floor symptoms.  

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Pessary Fitting

Many women will choose treatment for bladder leaking or pelvic organ prolapse that does not require surgery.  One common treatment option involves the use of a pessary.  The use of pessaries in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders dates back to the beginning of recorded history.   While the pessaries have improved, the concept remains the same.

Once women choose to try pessary, they are scheduled for a pessary fitting appointment.  During that appointment, Dr. Parnell will show examples of common pessaries used based on your particular goals.  Once the correct pessary is determined, we will order the pessary or in some cases provide one that day.


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Surgical Treatment of Prolapse

Many women will choose to have surgical correction of their prolapse.  Every woman is different so surgical treatment may differ for each woman.  There are many factors to consider when having surgery for prolapse including medical history, previous surgeries, and personal goals as well as other factors with the primary focus being on improving quality of life.

Surgery for prolapse can be approached from either the abdominal route or the vaginal route.  When doing abdominal surgery for prolapse the robotic or laparoscopic route is used to improve pain and decrease risk.

This information from the International Urogynecologic Association summarizes Pelvic Organ Prolapse and its treatment options.

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Surgical Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence

Women who leak with coughing, sneezing or activity most likely have Stress Urinary Incontinence.  This common type of bladder leaking affects around 1 out of 8 women and most commonly occurs after childbirth.  Because it commonly occurs with activities that cause straining or effort, many women will limit exercise or other enjoyable activities.  It impacts quality of life by discouraging social activities or exercise due to fear of having bladder leaking.  Many times non-surgical treatment options can aid in improving quality of life, but some women may choose to have surgery to correct the problem.

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