Symptoms and Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic Floor Pain and Symptoms Without Ever Being Pregnant or Giving Birth

Pelvic Floor Pain and Symptoms and Causes Don't Always Start with Pregnancy and Birth

Thinking differently about pelvic floor dysfunction – Pelvic floor problems do not start at birth.

You may have heard of the pelvic floor in several arenas before reading this blog post – maybe you saw an informative instagram account, or talked to your friend about her experience with pelvic floor physical therapy (PT). This is awesome – I want everyone to know that the pelvic floor exists and learn more about it!

However, there are two flaws in the most popular conversations regarding the pelvic floor. One is the theme that this is only a conversation to have after having a baby. The other is the idea that the only problem you might have is urinary leaking. While the pelvic floor is incredibly relevant in the postpartum journey, and urinary leaking is very common, the conversation surrounding the pelvic floor could do with a little… broadening. 

This will help more people access the care they need, seek help more quickly, and with less shame. 

When talking about the pelvic floor, I always like to give a run down of symptoms people may be dealing with. This can be a reminder that urinary leaking is just one of the many symptoms pelvic floor PT can help with, and that you don’t have to deal with these other symptoms. You also can talk about them! The more we speak about not being able to hold in gas, pain and difficulty with penetration/tampons, etc, the more we free others to do the same. 

Here is a list (not exhaustive) of symptoms that pelvic floor physical therapists can help with:


  • Rectal pain
  • Anal leakage (gas, stool)
  • Urinary leaking
  • Urinary frequency and urgency
  • Hip pain
  • Low back pain
  • SI joint pain
  • Recurrent UTI-like symptoms with negative UTI tests
  • Pelvic pain after cancer treatment
  • Pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pressure and heaviness
  • Constipation, recurrent hemorrhoids
  • Difficulty with orgasm, pain with orgasm
  • Pain with penetration
  • Inability to use tampons
  • Perineal scar pain postpartum

Some of these issues have nothing to do with childbirth or carrying a baby. Pelvic floor dysfunction can affect children, teenage athletes, college students, pregnant women, men at all stages of life, women going through menopause, and more. Pregnant women also don’t need to wait until postpartum to get help for these things, and postpartum women don’t need to wait until they’re completely done having children to recover their pelvic floor.

Ready to take control of your pelvic floor symptoms once and for all? To schedule, call us at 515-255-3932 and set-up your appointment today!

This post is educational and not medical advice. Please consult your medical provider for information specific to your needs.

Breathe. is unique! Private, personalized care that celebrates client victories, big and small. We believe all women deserve to live energetic, vibrant and active lives and it’s our mission to be a partner in achieving that, by specializing in dry needling, DRA, pants peeing, pregnancy/postpartum pain and recovery, pelvic floor dysfunction, headaches, back pain and other orthopedic concerns. 

Appointments available in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Iowa City / Cedar Rapids area.

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