Dr. Dugan explains the symptoms a woman would have if the muscles at her pelvic floor were contracting.
So the way we describe the way these muscles are behaving is that if they are staying shortened or they are staying contracted, then we call it kind of high tone or hypertonic, and in that situation you may have pain because instead of the muscles relaxing at certain part of the day when you’re taking it easy, they maintain that short and contracted position. It might also make you feel tired because they are kind of constantly turned on, and it might make it hard to empty your bladder and your bowel content.
You may also have pain with intercourse, so if it’s the superficial muscles, then it may hurt with penetration, and if it’s the deeper muscles, now these don’t come off at home so don’t worry about that, but if it’s the deeper muscles, then you may have more pain with thrusting, that part of the intercourse.
About Dr. Dugan, M.D.:
Dr. Sheila A. Dugan, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. She is a faculty member of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is co-medical director of the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health.
Dr. Dugan is multi board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. She is highly skilled in neurological and sports-related rehabilitation. Prior to medical school, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in 1986. She's currently pursuing development of a program focused on women's musculoskeletal care, including both their medical and rehabilitation needs.