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The pelvic floor, consisting of muscles and connective tissue, plays a crucial role in a woman’s life. Basically, the pelvic floor has two functions. It must support the pelvic organs such as the bladder, anorectum and vagina against a rise in intra-abdominal pressure. It does so by providing basic support and contraction at appropriate moments. On the other hand, it must allow the passage of urine and faeces, and allow pain-free sexual intercourse. Life events as childbirth and menopause are likely to affect normal functioning. Dysfunction of the pelvic floor is the field of the subspecialty urogynaecology.
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Painful sexual intercourse due to medical or psychological causes
The area between the left and right levator ani muscle through which the anorectum, vagina and urethra passes
Overactive bladder syndrome
Urgency, with or without frequency, nocturia and urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence
Involuntary loss of urine during a rise in intra-abdominal pressure, such as laughing, coughing or physical exercise
Urgency urinary incontinence
Involuntary loss of urine associated with a sudden strong desire to void
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DeLancey JOL. Pelvic floor anatomy and pathology, chap. 2, pp. 13–51. In: Hoyte L, Damaser M, editors. Biomechanics of the female pelvic floor. Elsevier 2016. ISBN: 978-0-12-803228-2.
Koughnett JS van, Wexner S. Current management of fecal incontinence. Choosing amongst treatment options to optimize outcomes. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Dec 28;19(48):9216–9230. CrossRef
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Lucs MG, Bosch JL, Burkhard FC. EAU guidelines on surgical management of urinary incontinence. Eur Urol. 2012a;61:1118–29. CrossRef
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Whitehead, et al. Treatment of fecal incontinence: state of the science summary for the national institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases workshop. Am J Gastroenterol. 2015:110–138.
- Pelvic floor disorders
Huub (C.H.) van der Vaart
Dr Pieternel Steures
Professor Jan-Paul W. R. Roovers
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum