How are pelvic floor disorders diagnosed?

Written by: Dr Aneta Obloza
Edited by: Conor Lynch

Top Doctors recently had the pleasure to chat to highly regarded consultant urogynaecologist, Dr Aneta Obloza, who, here in our latest article, outlines the main symptoms of pelvic floor disorder, and tells us how pelvic floor disorders are typically diagnosed.

What is the difference between urogynaecology and gynaecology?

Gynaecology is a broad term for a specialist who treats women's health problems related to early pregnancy, periods, infertility, cancers, or menopause, whereas urogynaecology deals with pelvic flood problems in a more specialised way, as it requires a more specialised knowledge.


What are common pelvic floor disorders that a urogynaecologist can treat?

Urogynaecologists specialise in pelvic floor problems such as urinary or bowel incontinence, prolapse of vaginal walls or the womb, recurrent cystitis, or problems with emptying the bladder. Urogynaecologists understand the interplay between three systems occupying the pelvic floor i.e. the bladder, the womb, and the bowels. These may cause problems separately or in combination.


What are the main symptoms of pelvic floor disorder?

The symptoms relating to the pelvic floor disorders depend on which organ is affected. These can exist on their own or in combination with other symptoms. The bladder symptoms often include urinary incontinence when laughing or coughing, urinary urgency and/or urge incontinence, bothersome night time toilet visits, difficulties in emptying the bladder, and urinary tract infections.


The prolapse of the vaginal walls and/or the wombs often presents itself as a dragging and pulling down sensation, feeling a soft lump down below, rubbing, and/or vaginal discomfort. Bowel symptoms often include difficulty in emptying the bowels completely, straining, digitising, urgency to pass the motion and/or gas, and even leakage.


How are pelvic floor disorders diagnosed?

The diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders begins with a careful outline of your symptoms, followed by a detailed examination of the vagina, perineum, and the rectum (end of the bowels). Additional tests may be required such as a pelvic scan or MRI, urodynamics or cystoscopy.


Can pelvic floor disorders be treated?

Early stages of prolapsed vaginal walls and/or the womb and urinary incontinence can be successfully managed with supervised pelvic floor exercises and bladder training. More advanced prolapse can be managed with vaginal pessaries and corrective surgery. More severe urinary incontinence symptoms can be managed with tablets, injections, or an operation.


How can pelvic floor disorders be prevented?

Problems with the bladder and prolapsed vaginal walls are more common that we give them credit for. One in four women will experience some symptoms stemming directly from pelvic floor problems. Preventative measures include maintaining normal weight, avoidance of unduly heavy lifting and constipation, and performing pelvic floor exercises.


To book an appointment with Dr Aneta Obloza, head on over to her Top Doctors profile today to do exactly that.

By Dr Aneta Obloza
Obstetrics & gynaecology

Dr Aneta Obloza is a highly skilled consultant urogynaecologist who treats patients in Leicester. With over 15 years of experience, Dr Obloza is an expert in the treatment and management of urogynaecological conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, painful bladder syndrome, urinary tract infection, functional bowel disorder, and urodynamics

Dr Obloza graduated from the Collegium Medicum Jagiellonian University, Krakow in 2003 with a doctorate of medicine. In 2009, she successfully became a member of the royal college of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She completed her subspecialist training in urogynaecology at the University of Hospital of Leicester. In 2017, she earned her master of science in education from the University of Birmingham. 

Dr Obloza worked at the Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust from 2019 to 2021 as a consultant urogynaecologist as well as the gynaecology safety lead. Currently here NHS base is the University Hospitals of Leicester Trust. She is passionate about female pelvic floor well-being and is dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle. As part of her daily practice, Dr Obloza offers Uromune vaccines for recurrent urinary tract infections (cystitis), sacral nerve stimulation for urinary urgency or overactive bladder, and Elmiron treatment for painful bladder syndrome, amongst many other urogynaecological treatments. 

In addition to her clinical work, Dr Obloza has published various peer-reviewed papers and has contributed to numerous esteemed journals such as the Journal of Obstetrics, Gynaecology, and Reproductive Medicine. 

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