In my personal medical practice as specialist Obstetrician and Gynecologist, in British Columbia, Canada,and now in Calgary Alberta, I see women on a daily basis with pelvic floor disorders. Some of these include urinary and fecal incontinence, bladder, bowel or uterine prolapse, painful intercourse, and chronic pelvic pain. Few of these patients understand what is happening, how and why it happened, and what alternative treatment options are available. Often they struggle to understand the foreign concepts, which cannot be fully explained in the few available minutes, and leave the office somewhat bewildered.
Through my years of practice, I have become acutely aware of the need for educating women not only about the existence of the pelvic floor, but also the care of the pelvic floor. Fortunately the increasing emphasis on Women's Health over the last few years has helped, and there are now many medical forums and conferences dedicated to these issues. The various continence societies are also doing a great job in teaching and raising the issues. In spite of this I have found a very low level of awareness. As a result, I decided to start this site, with the hope of doing my part in raising the awareness of the pelvic floor and illustrating some of the more common problems.
I hope to make this a positive experience for myself as well as readers of this forum. My hope is that women who participate in this venture, will be able to understand their own problems better, will be able to engage their physicians in a more informative discussion, and will find new ways of thinking about the pelvic floor. I hope that this site grows in strength from this modest beginning.
To try and achieve the above ideal, I have written a book, in conjunction with Mrs. Carol Wasson, explaining the pelvic floor in detail. The whole idea is to make information regarding pelvic floor disorders accessible and understandable to the average woman. This book will arm women with the knowledge and ability to understand their bodies better and will enable them to ask their health care providers questions regarding proposed or possible procedures and interventions that may be required. The book also delves into the evolution and politics of the childbirth experience and shows why current medical knowledge does not have all the answers. Women are encouraged to become involved in the decisions regarding childbirth and the point is made that an elective preventative cesarean birth may be the right decision for some women. We also argue that women should have the right to choose an elective cesarean birth if that is their wish.
The book is about more than just childbirth however. It would be of equal value to those women who already suffer from pelvic floor problems like incontinence, prolapse (sagging pelvic organs), or pelvic pain. These problems are discussed and illustrated in detail, and the treatment options are discussed thoroughly.
For a long time I've been irritated by consumer healthcare books and publications that seem to dismiss the reader's intelligence. In our book, we strive to arm women with information and courage to make decisions about their body; how they will bring their children into this world, as well as what treatment to demand and expect for pelvic floor disorders. There is no attempt to "whitewash" the problems as I so commonly observe in other books. The facts are given as they are, even if sometimes scary. Mrs. Wasson and I have enough respect for the average women to not dismiss their intelligence with platitudes. This underlying concept, which we insisted on when attempts were made to water down the information in the book, will of necessity make it difficult for some to understand every little detail, especially in the more scientific chapters. Don't despair however; those difficult details are few and are not that important for the average reader anyway. The main arguments are clear and will develop in a powerful visualization of what is going on in the pelvis during and after childbirth and with aging.
I sincerely hope that our efforts will help women in the ways we envision, and look forward to feedback on the bulletin board on this website.
Dr. Magnus Murphy MD
An excellent presentation of the complex issues surrounding Maternal Request Cesarean Delivery…
Rated a Best Consumer Health Book!
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"Thank you to all who contribute to making our discussion group such a valuable source of information."
~Dr. Magnus Murphy