Pelvic floor or outlet dysfunction is a term used to describe difficulty passing stool once it reaches the rectum. Individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction frequently strain or press around the anal opening and/or into the vagina to help remove the stool. They also often feel as though they have incompletely evacuated. This condition can be caused by an inappropriate muscle contraction of the pelvic floor when trying to have a bowel movement, known as pelvic floor dyssynergia or dyssynergic defecation. The abnormal muscle contractions can be evaluated by digital rectal exam and with the use anorectal manometry study. The anorectal manometry study determines if an individual’s anal sphincter and pelvic floor muscles relax properly to allow for the passage of stool. This condition can be treated with anorectal biofeedback.
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