Help for women too embarrassed to consult a doctor about urinary or fecal incontinence , is now just a phone call away. A helpline for women with pelvic floor disorders started functioning in Chennai city from last Thursday.
Women suffering uncontrolled urinary and faecal leakage as well as prolapse can now call 32904166 to seek clarifications on how to handle their conditions.
The helpline has been established in association with the Lions Club of Madras Hosts. It is expected to provide advice to women who are too shy to take their problems to a doctor.
Says Karthik Gunasekaran, urogynaecologist and founding secretary of Indian Urogynaecological Society: "Most women will not talk about urinary or faecal incontinence and continue to suffer with it. They do not realize that treatment modalities are available for pelvic floor problems." For those wanting to know more, going online at www.urogynecology.in. can help.
Last week, the Society put together a symposium on pelvic floor disorders along with the Chennai Colorectal Society and Sri Ramachandra University, in Chennai.
About 150 gynecologists, urologists and colorectal surgeons attended the symposium during which surgery was performed free of cost on 10 patients.
Pelvic floor disorders are those that affect women's pelvic organs. This includes the uterus (or womb), vagina, bladder, rectum as well as the muscles that surround and support them. The three most common problems include pelvic organ prolapse, and trouble with bladder or bowel control.
Some women with bowel problems lose stool from their rectum involuntarily. This is known as "fecal incontinence." They may lose liquid or solid stool and these women may also have trouble controlling gas.
The most common bladder problem is urinary incontinence (when women leak urine unwillingly). Many women will have some urine leakage in their lives. Being so common, some women believe it is normal and do not tell their doctors.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a term used to describe a group of problems. Prolapse happens when one or more of the organs in the pelvis (the bladder, uterus, small intestines or rectum) fall into the vagina. Various terms of this type of prolapse include "cystocele" or "dropped bladder"; "uterine prolapse" or "dropped uterus"; "rectocele" or "enterocele."
Some women with prolapse can see or feel a 'bulge' or 'something coming out' at the vaginal opening. Others with early prolapse might be unaware that they have prolapse because they do not have these feelings or symptoms. Though prolapse is not life threatening it can be uncomfortable. Prolapse sometimes makes it hard for women to do some of the things they want to do, like exercise. It may make it difficult to even empty the bladders normally.
Pelvic floor disorders are treatable and women must not shy away from seeking help, insist doctors.