For many of the 400,000 women who experience pelvic floor dysfunction each year, diagnosing their condition can be challenging, uncomfortable and time consuming. The pelvic floor is a complex area of the body that requires long experience and special expertise to allow for proper diagnosis.
The pelvic floor can be divided into three compartments:
- Anterior (bladder and urethra)
- Middle (vagina, cervix and uterus)
- Posterior (rectum)
- A complex network of muscles support the entire pelvic floor. Damage to even one of the muscles can lead to prolapse (one or more of the pelvic organs falls out of position), while stretching or tearing can lead to pelvic floor relaxation and a range of symptoms, including incontinence, pelvic pain and/or constipation.
Due to recent advances in sequencing speed, Dynamic Pelvic Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can now greatly aid in the diagnosis of conditions affecting the pelvic floor. A major benefit of Dynamic Pelvic MRI is enhanced patient comfort, as well as other benefits, including:
- No IV contrast
- No radiation
- Relatively noninvasive (depending on technique)
- In most cases, patient only has to bear down
- In most cases, no enema
- Dynamic pelvic MR allows radiologists to directly see detailed images of the anatomy of the pelvic floor structures, which allows analysis of anatomy and function. Studies have shown that dynamic pelvic MRI is more sensitive than physical examination, making it the gold standard for diagnosing pelvic floor disorders.