Constipation and pelvic pain often go together, as the strain on the abdominal muscles during constipation can lead to uncomfortable cramping and pain in the lower abdomen. In addition, the muscles surrounding the colon are in fact the levator ani complex, or pelvic floor. When we are constipated, we often push or strain to defecate which in turn is contraction of the pelvic floor musculature and can be related to pain.
How does pelvic floor dysfunction relate to constipation?
Constipation can cause pelvic pain due to repeated strain on the abdominal muscles. This can lead to the weakening of the pelvic muscles and losing support for the organs in that area, resulting in an inability to evacuate stool or control urine leakage.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is often seen in patients with constipation. These symptoms include:
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Decreased amount of stool
- Straining to have a bowel movement
- The feeling of incomplete evacuation