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Wellness Center

Redmond offers pelvic floor rehabilitation

New program provides relief without surgery

Pelvic Floor Rehab

Before going through eight weeks of pelvic floor rehabilitation, Melanie Rogers said she was embarrassed to talk about the problems she had experienced with weak pelvic floor muscles ever since having her two children.

Now, Rogers said, she wants every woman out there to know that pelvic floor rehabilitation is an option.

"If there are any other women out there with this same problem and they are young and active, if I can help somebody not have to have that situation, that's worth it to me," Rogers, 36 of Redmond, said. "I want people to know that there are options other than surgery or just living with it — which is not fun either."

Rogers, who has a 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, said both labors and deliveries were hard and fast and required quite a few stitches to repair the damage.

"I was never the same after that," she said. "About a year ago I went on a fitness program. I pretty much couldn't jog without leaking. I would have to wear a pad, or make sure I had the right clothes on so if I did leak it wouldn't be too embarrassing when I was at the gym."

At her annual check-up with her OB/GYN, Rogers said she asked if there was anything she could do to help with the urinary incontinence. She wasn't interested in surgery as she felt it would be too invasive, and was thrilled when she learned that St. Charles Health System had started offering a pelvic floor rehabilitation program.

The program is designed for men and women suffering from urinary and bowel incontinence and pain in the pelvic area, said Brooke Collins, a St. Charles physical therapist who started the program in October. Patients are seen for an hour each week for six to eight weeks in a private, comfortable room in the St. Charles Redmond outpatient rehabilitation clinic.

"The physical assessment includes an internal exam, muscular retraining, education and an individualized exercise program," Collins said. "Pelvic physical therapy has been shown to improve stress urinary incontinence in 97 percent of cases and cure it in 75 percent."

Rogers is not 100 percent cured, but she says she feels her muscle strength is at about 90 percent and her quality of life has improved dramatically. She can exercise at the gym without worrying and can run without having to wear a pad for incontinence.

"If a sneeze caught me off guard before, I would lose it. My bladder didn't even have to be full. It would just happen. I had hardly any strength there at all," she said. "Within three weeks I was noticing a definite difference."

For more information, contact the St. Charles Redmond Outpatient Rehab clinic at 541-516-3828.