Understanding Hysterectomy and Bladder Incontinence: A Pelvic Floor Therapist’s Perspective

February 25, 2024

If you’ve ever wondered if getting a hysterectomy will solve all of your incontinence problems, you’re not alone. Many women face this dilemma when seeking solutions for their bladder issues. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the insights shared by Brittany Cappiello, a pelvic floor physical therapist, as she addresses the misconceptions surrounding hysterectomies and their effectiveness in treating bladder problems.

The Bladder and the Uterus: Separate Entities

One common misconception is that a hysterectomy can alleviate bladder leaking issues. However, it’s important to understand that the uterus and the bladder are distinct organs with different functions. While they share proximity within the abdominal cavity, they don’t inherently influence each other’s functionality.

Understanding Prolapse

To shed more light on the issue, Brittany explains that sometimes bladder problems can be linked to a prolapse. A prolapse occurs when the uterus or bladder starts to descend into the vaginal canal due to factors like pregnancy, constipation, or bearing down activities. This can disrupt the bladder’s position and contribute to incontinence issues.

Why Hysterectomy Isn’t Always the Solution

Contrary to what some may believe, removing the uterus through a hysterectomy can exacerbate the situation. Brittany clarifies that after a hysterectomy, a vacant space is created between the rectum and the bladder, allowing these organs more freedom of movement. As a result, the bladder may prolapse further, leading to worsened symptoms.

Strengthening the Pelvic Floor: A More Effective Approach

Instead of resorting to hysterectomy as a quick fix, Brittany emphasizes the importance of strengthening the pelvic floor. While prolapse doesn’t always reverse itself through pelvic floor exercises, they can significantly alleviate symptoms associated with bladder issues and pelvic pressure. Leaving the organs in place reduces the likelihood of further prolapse and urinary problems.

When Is a Hysterectomy Necessary?

There are situations where hysterectomies are indeed necessary. However, she encourages individuals to thoroughly understand the reasons behind the surgery. If incontinence is the primary concern, it’s advisable to consult with a pelvic floor physical therapist first and explore conservative treatment methods before considering surgery.

Hysterectomies are not a one-size-fits-all solution for bladder incontinence. Understanding the relationship between the bladder and the uterus, as well as the potential implications of surgery, is crucial. Strengthening the pelvic floor through exercises and seeking the guidance of a pelvic floor therapist can often provide effective relief for bladder issues. Surgery should be considered only after exploring all conservative options.

If you’re interested in learning more about prolapse issues or how to address bladder incontinence, you can visit mycorefloor.com for additional information and resources.

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