Pelvic floor disorders

An overview of Providence Health Care's services and resources for adults living with weak or injured pelvic floors.


Pelvic floor disorders are a group of conditions caused when a woman’s pelvic floor is weak or injured.

The pelvic floor is a network of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. It spans the lowest part of the pelvis. It supports the bladder, uterus, vagina and bowel.

Many pelvic floor disorders have symptoms like a bulge in the vagina, loss of vaginal sensation, or pain in the vagina. Another symptom is leaking urine, stool or gas.

Pelvic floor disorders are common. However, they are often underreported. As a result, pelvic floor disorders are also known as a “silent epidemic.”

One out of two women will experience at least one pelvic symptom by the time they are 80 years old. Women also often experience symptoms after pregnancy and childbirth.

Types of pelvic floor disorders



Dr. Roxana Geoffrion 
Centre for Pelvic Floor St. Paul's Hospital 
Suite 930, 1125 Howe Street 
Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2K8 
Phone: 604-806-9835 
Fax: 604-398-8410 

Dr. Maria Giroux 
Suite 250, 2184 West Broadway 
Vancouver, B.C. V6K 2E1 
Phone: 604-682-5288 
Fax: 604-609-0538 

Dr. David Wilkie 
555 West 8th Ave, Suite 306 
Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 1C6 
Phone: 604-736-5404 
Fax: 604-736-5424 

Diagnosis & testing

If you experience pelvic floor symptoms, you should speak to your doctor to get help.

There is no reason to feel embarrassed. Pelvic floor disorders are common. Our team can ensure you get the right care to manage and treat your symptoms.

Depending on your situation, your doctor may refer you to the Centre for Pelvic Floor at St. Paul’s Hospital or the Continence Clinic at St. Paul’s Older Adult Outpatient Clinic.

Common diagnostic tests for pelvic floor disorders at Providence include:

Treatment & management


We screen for many disorders at the same time. This is because women often have more than one pelvic floor symptom. This allows us to offer patient-centred care with different treatment options.

Depending on your symptoms, treatment options may include:

  • Dietary modifications
  • Medication
  • Kegel exercises: These are simple exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
  • Behaviour changes, such as avoiding heavy lifting or prolonged standing
  • Managing conditions like constipation, a chronic cough, or frequent urine infections
  • Devices like pessaries and urine catheters. Pessaries are inserted into the vagina to provide support to the pelvic floor. Urine catheters help drain urine from the bladder.

We may refer you to one or more specialists at PHC. Another referral may be to pelvic floor physiotherapists in the community.

Sometimes we recommend clinic procedures or outpatient surgeries to treat pelvic floor disorders. Larger operations require a short stay in hospital.

Clinics that treat pelvic floor disorders

Clinic procedures

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections in the pelvic floor to reduce muscle spasms.
  • Urethral bulking injection reinforces your sphincter by injecting bulking agents into your urethra.


Procedures often take place in the surgical care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital or the  BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.

If you need surgery, please view: 

Support services

Providence offers a variety of services to support those we care for. The following services may be of use or benefit to you and your families.

Support for Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Wellness Liaison Team is here to support your health journey. Team members offer cultural support and healthcare advocacy. Learn more below or call them at 604-682-2344,62937 or email

  • Indigenous wellness services

    The Indigenous Wellness Team at Providence is available to support Indigenous patients and their families. We are here to coordinate culturally safe wellness supports and services.

Clinical trials & research

Advances in pelvic floor treatments are all thanks to medical research. While participating in research is a decision you should make for yourself in consultation with your care team, there is much activity in this area so please ask us about our research programs if you’re interested.

By taking part in research, you can help us all learn more about pelvic floor disorders and find better ways to help people like you live and thrive with the condition. While you cannot assume benefit to yourself, your participation can make a difference in improving care for future patients.

The following clinical trials are currently enrolling volunteers. Please ask your care team for more information or contact the research team listed on each study or trial. For other information about research at Providence Health Care, please visit Providence Research.

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