Treatment is available

Pelvic FloorLadies, do you leak urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh? Do you frequently have the urge to go to the bathroom? You’re not alone. About half of women over age 50 have this condition. And it’s got a name: pelvic floor disorder.

Pelvic floor disorder describes a number of conditions that affect the pelvic muscles and organs, causing problems such as urinary or fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Because pelvic floor disorders involve sensitive areas and are often caused by childbirth, women are sometimes embarrassed to talk to their doctors about symptoms or they will accept symptoms as “normal.” Fortunately, help is available for the unpleasant incontinence, constipation, pain and pressure these disorders can cause.

Inova has been leading the charge on treatment of pelvic floor disorder for women in the Northern Virginia and metropolitan DC area since the opening of Inova Women’s Hospital in 2016 and even before. This year, the National Association for Continence designated Inova Women’s Hospital and its affiliated urogynecology practices a Center of Excellence. Recipients of this designation excel in providing bladder and bowel healthcare to patients, and assisting consumers dealing with the condition of pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence issues.

“This designation underscores Inova’s commitment, as well as the commitment of our urogynecologists, Drs. Jeffrey Welgoss, Nicolette Horbach and Walter von Pechmann, who provide excellent care to the patients we are privileged to serve,” notes S. Abbas Shobeiri, MD, MBA, Vice Chairman of Gynecologic Subspecialties at Inova Women’s Hospital.

Inova gynecologists provide individualized treatment for every patient, which can include physical therapy and training with exercises, or procedures to correct the issue. Inova Physical Therapy Centers also offer a specialized pelvic floor rehabilitation program that provides a safe space for women to learn and practice exercises that they can then bring home.


Women’s Pelvic Floor Disorder: A group of conditions affecting the structure and function of the muscles and organs in the pelvis. The disorder relates to an inability to control the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Illustration of pelvic floor

The most common conditions fall into three categories:

  1. Urinary incontinence
  2. Fecal incontinence
  3. Pelvic organ prolapse

Signs or symptoms:

Loss of control of urine or stool and protrusion of tissue from the vagina.

Less common symptoms include:

  • Constipation or straining pain with bowel movements
  • Painful urination, or a frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Lower back pain
  • Ongoing pain in pelvic region, genitals or rectum
  • Spasms in pelvic muscles

Get Answers to Your Pelvic Floor Questions

Learn more about pelvic floor disorder and how Inova can help.

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