Restore Your Freedom

Disorders of the pelvic floor are common with sufferers experiencing a loss of freedom and control


Tummy or belly at the torso (or trunk) of the body just under the ribcage area and at the digestive tract.
Area of tissue that's swollen and contains pus.
Absorbent pads
Pads worn in the pants to soak up urine or bowel leaks.
Serious or sudden or sharp arrival at a crisis stage.
Alpha and beta adrenergic agonists
Medicines used to help relieve the symptoms of stress incontinence.
Alzheimer's disease
Disease with progressive mental deterioration because of brain deterioration.
Blood lacks sufficient red cells or haemoglobin.
Anal canal
Last part of the colon just before the anus. It's between 2 and 4cm long.
Anal electromyography
Test used to measure level of nerve function at the anus.
Anal fissure
Small tear in the tissue at the anus.
Anal incontinence
An involuntary loss of stool, liquid or gas that is a hygienic problem or has a social impact. Faecal incontinence concerns stool and liquid loss, not gas.
Anal manometry
Tests squeeze and resting pressure of muscles at the anus.
Anal plug
Device used to block the opening at the anus.
Anal sphincter tear
Small tear in the muscle tissue at the anus.
Anal ultrasound
Test using sound waves to see the anus and rectal structures.
Male hormones, also produced within the prostate.
Antegrade continence enema
Operation to clean the colon via a channel, often using the appendix, at a location in the large bowel called the caecum. Also called the Malone or MACE method or a bowel washout.
Anterior levatorplasty
Operation on part of the pelvic floor muscle.
Anterior vaginal repair
Operation to fix vaginal deformation or prolapse.
Medicine derived from bacterium or mould that destroys or hinders growth of microorganisms and fights infection.
Medicines to stop involuntary bladder contractions.
Anti-motility medicines
Medicines to slow down the speed of food going through the gut.
Types of anticholinergics, used to block chemical messages.
Medicines used to help symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The opening at the end of the intestines through which faeces is expelled from the body.
Sac at the lower end of the ascending colon.
Artificial sphincter
Replacement of sphincter muscle with artificial device.
Plural for bacterium which is a single-celled organism that can multiply rapidly. Most bacteria are harmless to humans, but some can cause disease and are classified as pathogenic bacteria.
Barium enema
Barium is an alkaline metallic element used to assist in radiology (X-rays) because barium's salts are insoluble and give good contrast. The enema is when barium salts are put into a fluid which is then introduced into the bowel/colon to aid X-ray picture quality.
Barrier cream
Cream used to protect the skin in the perineal area (between anus and scrotum or vagina) from the abrasive effects of exposure to urine or faeces.
Behavioural therapy
Technique used to modify and control toilet habits.
Swallowed gas that moves up the oesophagus and is released from the mouth.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate.
Use of electrical stimulation and other techniques to raise a person's awareness, and help regain control of a normally automatic body function.
Test used to look at tissue sample.
Muscular sac in the abdomen that receives and stores urine.
Bladder diary
Three-day or more record of toilet habits, including fluid intake and urination. Also called a voiding diary.
Bladder neck
Part of the bladder through which urine is expelled to the urethra.
Bladder neck suspension
Generic term for various surgical procedures to fix bladder prolapse (slippage).
Bladder stones
Hard masses in the bladder.
Bladder training
Changing toilet habits to fit into a schedule.
Enlargement with fluid or gas.
Botulin toxin
Drug made out of botulin (bacterial toxin) to decrease muscle spasms or hyperactivity (too many) of contractions. Also used in cosmetic surgery.
Relating to cows and cattle.
Bowel diary
Three-day or more record of toilet habits.
Bowel incontinence
Leakage from the bowel.
Bowel training
Changing toilet habits to fit into a schedule.
Bowel, large
The colon or large intestine.
Bowel, small
The small intestines.
The name given to the digestive system consisting of the colon (large intestine), small intestines, rectum and anus.
Bulking agent
Substance injected into the tissue around the urethra (or anal canal) to create volume around the urethra to keep it closed. (Not to be confused with ‘bulking’ action of fibre supplements used for bowel problems).
Central nervous system stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods and drinks.
Small hard mass found in an organ (refer Stone).
Disease where a growth in tissue is caused by uncontrolled division of cells.
Catheters are hollow tubes used to withdraw (or introduce) fluids into the bladder through the urethra. They are used by urologists to relieve urinary retention, irrigate the bladder, instill medication or radiography contrast, obtain urine and measure residual urine volume.
Narrow passage at the lower end of the uterus.
Recurring or ongoing.
The tailbone or base of the spine (also see tailbone).
Most common protein in mammals. Found in the connective tissue of the body. Doesn't disolve in water. Used industrially, such as in producing gelatin. Medical uses include cosmetic surgery and to treat burns.
Also known as the large bowel or large intestine. Tube-like structure in the gut that starts at the small intestine and continues to the anus. Mainly responsible for processing the waste from food absorbed by the small intestines.
Colon, ascending
The part of the colon or large intestine that extends from the junction with the small intestine upwards to the transverse colon.
Colon, descending
The part of the colon or large intestine that extends from the junction with the transverse colon down to the rectum.
Colon, transverse
The part of the colon or large intestine that extends from the junction with the ascending colon across to the descending colon.
Colon, sigmoid
Part of colon that leads to the rectum, curved.
Colonoscopy, conventional
Examination of the colon with a fibre-optic device.
Colorectal nurse specialist
Nurse who specialises in the colon and works with colorectal surgeons.
Colorectal surgeon
Doctor who specialises in the colon and is trained in operations and procedures involving the colon and rectum.
Surgery to remove part of the colon. Part of the colon is brought to the abdominal wall making an opening called a stoma.
Portable toilet.
Difficulty passing stool or emptying bowels.
Continence aids
Products that manage leakage, such as pads, sheaths and bed and furniture coverings.
Continence care clinic
Health unit that specialises in bowel and bladder continence problems.
Continence adviser and continence nurse
Specialist nurse trained in all aspects of bowel and urinary control.
Contraction of muscles causing pain.
Crohn's disease
An Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Microscopic detection of crystals in urine can be related to urinary stone disease.
CT scanner
Computer assisted X-ray machines.
Cystitis (bacterial)
Infection of bladder.
Method using X-rays and dyes to view the bladder.
Test to assess bladder function.
A small tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder to inspect the lower urinary tract and evaluate any obstruction related to the prostate.
A miniature fibre-optic telescope is used to look at the urinary and bladder structures.
Study of cells.
Expulsion of excrement from the body.
Lack of sufficient water in the body, loss of large amount of water.
Detrusor muscle
Smooth muscle of the bladder (smooth muscle isn't under conscious control).
Diarrhoea (US diarrhea)
Liquid or loose stool.
Expert concerned with diet, eating habits and nutrition.
The system of absorbing fluids and nutrients from food that takes place in the stomach, small intestine, and colon.
Digital examination
Physical examination of internal areas in the pelvis such as the anus or vagina using gloved hands and fingers to feel the internal structures and check for abnormalities.
Dipstick test
Urine test using chemically coated strip.
Substances or drugs that promote or increase urine excretion or help eliminate excess fluid from the body.
Dual incontinence
Both bowel and urinary incontinence.
The first part of the small intestine that starts just beyond the stomach.
Dynamic Gracioplasty
Dynamic graciloplasty involves transposition of the gracilis muscle from the leg to around the anus and then electrical stimulation of the muscle to create or enhance anal sphincter function.
Electrical impulses
Electric charge delivered in short bursts.
Electrical stimulation
Electrodes or probe used to deliver electric impulses to muscles.
Substance that dissolves in solution to become electrically charged and able to conduct electricity, such as sodium or potassium atoms.
Procedure where fluid is administered into the colon (or rectum) to wash it out.
Stool, faeces.
Faecal incontinence (US Fecal)
Bowel incontinence involving only stool or liquid. Anal incontinence involves stool, liquid loss and gas.
Abnormally raised body temperature.
Fibre supplements
Medicines resistant to digestive enzymes that can bulk up stool.
A passage or channel either caused by surgery or disease found between a hollow or tube-like organ and the body's surface, or between two tube-like organs.
Build up of gas in the stomach or intestines (see gas).
Wind from the stomach or intestines.
Needing to go to the toilet to urinate many times in the day, more than 6 to 8 times.
Functional incontinence
Incontinence because of reason other than problems in bowel or bladder.
Wind from the stomach or intestines; farting.
Medical specialist in disorders of the colon and stomach.
General practitioner
Family doctor.
Relating to the reproductive organs.
Specialist in the health and care of older people.
An organ that produces and releases one or more hormones.
Eye condition that involves increased pressure within the eyeball causing continuous reduction in sight.
Presence of glucose sugar in urine may be related to diabetes.
Gracioplasty - Dynamic
Dynamic graciloplasty involves transposition of the gracilis muscle from the leg to around the anus and then electrical stimulation of the muscle to create or enhance anal sphincter function.
Genital area.
Guarding reflex
Action that stops the external sphincter from opening when the rectum or bladder starts to increase in size due to filling.
Digestive system, including the colon.
Gynaecologist (US Gynecologist)
Medical specialist in women's reproductive health.
Haematuria (US Hematuria)
Blood in the urine.
Bleeding is the condition doctors commonly call haemorrhage.
Swelling of veins in the rectum or anus. Also known as piles.
Microscopic examination of a tissue.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Therapy with oestrogen for women alleviate symptoms of menopause.
Substances produced in special cells controlling and influencing reproductive functioning.
Enlargement of an organ due to increased number of cells.
Enlargement of an organ due to increased size of the cells.
Removal of the uterus.
Spontaneously arising disease with no known cause.
Third portion of the small intestine.
Impotence is the inability to get or maintain penile erection, a potential side effect of medical and surgical treatments.
Medicines used to suppress immune reaction. Used in gastroenterology for inflammatory bowel disease.
Stool that is compressed or hardened in the rectum or colon and becomes trapped.
Any degree of leaking from bowel or bladder.
Indwelling catheter
Catheter that stays in the bladder for prolonged periods.
Disease-causing organism, such as bacteria, which enters the body causing illness.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Describes two chronic disorders, Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which inflame the lining of your digestive tract and can cause severe bouts of watery diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
An invasive procedure requires an incision.
Intermittent Catheterisation
Is a way for you to empty your bladder by inserting a catheter (thin tube) into your urethra. This is not permanent and frequency of changes would be determined by your health professional.
Intestine, large
Colon or large bowel extending from the small intestine to the anus.
Intestine, small
The small bowel that runs from the stomach to the colon.
The digestive canal that runs from the stomach to the anus.
Interstitial cystitis
Bladder disease with no known cause.
Intravenous pyelogram
Method of looking at the bladder and kidneys using dye and X-rays.
Is where a length of intestine slips into an adjacent portion usually producing obstruction.
The most commonly used symptom score for urinary symptoms, developed by the American Urology Association: IPSS / QoL. But IPSS cannot be used to establish the diagnosis of BPH, only to evaluate it with your physiscian.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Syndrome or condition affecting the colon. It can cause discomfort, constipation and diarrhoea.
Partof the small intestine between the duodenum and ileum.
Kegel exercises
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Kidney failure
Renal function deterioration over a varying period of time, resulting in the failure to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and excrete nitrogenous waste products. Typically associated with BPH is the obstructive kidney failure, related to obstruction of urine outflow from the bladder, and the consequent increase in hydrostatic pressure in the renal collecting system. It may result in definitive kidney damage and associated systemic changes.
Medicines used to stimulate the colon into moving matter and stool out of the body.
Seepage of either urine or stool.
Levator ani
A group of muscles that surrounds the vagina in women, and in both men and women it surrounds the anal canal and the urethra.
An antimotility medicine used for treating diarrhoea.
Magnetic resonance imaging
Technique using magnets and radiowaves to develop images of the body's interior.
Layer of fatty acids (known as lipids) and proteins that create a boundary around a cell or organ or other structure in the body.
Name given to the process and time when women stop menstruating, typically between the ages of 45 and 50.
Medical term for urination. Also miction.
Minimally invasive
A minimally invasive procedure is performed with minimal tissue damage and requires no incision.
Mixed incontinence
When someone has two or more types of incontinence.
Multiple Sclerosis
Disease involving damage to the nerve sheaths. This disease is both chronic and progressive.
Muscle tone
Degree of firmness or strength of muscles.
Needle suspension
Surgery for stress incontinence where the bladder is suspended by a nylon thread that goes to the skin's surface.
Special whitish fibre bundles that carry stimuli and signals between the central nervous system and the body.
Caused by or from the nervous system.
Waking and having to go to the toilet several times in the night.
Nocturnal enuresis
Wetting the bed at night whilst asleep.
Healthcare specialist concerned with food and nourishment.
Doctor or surgeon specialising in childbirth.
Obstructed defecation syndrome
Condition where the colon is prevented or impeded from normal function, including expulsion of faeces. It can come about due to a range of problems, such as structural obstruction by prolapse.
Oesophagus (US esophagus)
Tube that takes food and fluids from the mouth to the stomach.
Oestrogen (US estrogen)
Female hormone group.
Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Syndrome where the bladder contracts before it is full causing an urgent and sudden need to go to the toilet. Also known as detrusor instability, unstable or irritable bladder, urge incontinence, or urgency urinary incontinence.
Overflow incontinence
Constant leakage of urine. This can result from either an obstruction in the urinary system, or when the bladder feels constantly full and doesn't properly stop urine flow.
Painful bladder syndrome
Interstitial cystitis.
Medicines to control pain.
Parkinson's disease
Disease of the brain and nervous system. Symptoms include tremor, slow movement and rigidity.
Pelvic floor
Muscle group in the pelvis that supports the organs such as the bowel, uterus, and bladder.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation
Exercises that aim to restore strength to the pelvic muscle group.
Pelvic splanchnic nerve
A sacral nerve that affects bladder and bowel function and muscle function.
The bony frame at the bottom of the back.
Penile clamp
Device that fits on the penis to keep the urethra closed.
Penile sheath
Device that fits over the penis and leads to a leg bag (strapped to the leg).
The male reproductive organ also used for urination.
Perineum and perianal (circumanal)
Area between the vagina or scrotum and the anus; area surrounding the anus.
Surrounding the urethra.
Medicines or manufactured drugs.
Healthcare specialist who treats injury or disease with physical methods such as exercises and massage.
Non-cancerous abnormal growths in tissue that bulge into the surrounding area.
Post anal repair
Operation to fix sphincter muscle problems.
Preparation (drugs)
Formula of medicine.
Number of people portraying a certain condition in a stated population at a particular time or period of time, regardless of when the illness or condition began, divided by the number of persons in the population.
Surgical specialist concerned with the anus and rectum.
Instrument for examining the sigmoid colon and rectum, either flexible or rigid.
When an organ slips out of place, generally down or forward.
Gland in men surrounding the urethra at the neck of the bladder. It's responsible for releasing a fluid constituent of semen.
A potent hormone-like substance that can control blood pressure, muscle contractions, and inflammation.
Operation to reduce prostate gland in size.
Prostate enlargement
Enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is not usually a serious health problem and is non-cancerous. The increase in size of the prostate gland can lead to urinary problems such as retention.
Prostate zones
Areas of the prostate gland, according to function, rather than location: central, peripheral and transition zones. It has been found that prostate cancer and hyperplasia tend to arise in different zones.
Infection or inflammation condition of the prostate gland that may result in urination difficulties.
Proteins are part of tissues. Protein excretion in urine can be related to a kidney disorder.
Pubic bone
the forward portion of either of the hip bones, at the juncture forming the front arch of the pelvis.
Pudendal nerve
A sacral nerve that affects the functioning of the bladder and bowel and muscle function.
Frequency within a range, measured in hertz. Used in medical therapies to create lesions.
Rectal bleeding
Bleeding from the rectum.
Rectal canal
The tube that makes up the bottom part of the colon that ends at the anus where faeces is stored until expulsion.
Rectal ultrasound
Test using ultrasound to see the rectum.
Rectal prolapse
Slippage of rectum so that it extends beyond the anus.
Slippage of the rectum into the vagina.
Final section of the colon ending at the anus.
Red cells
Red blood cells (RBC) are cellular elements contained in whole blood that are erythrocytes directly responsible for the transport of oxygen in the bloodstream and indirectly responsible for carbon dioxide transport.
An action in response to a stimulus that doesn't need conscious direction or thought, such as muscles that contract automatically or in response to an external force.
Reflex incontinence
Leakage due to loss of control over bladder function mechanisms, causing urine loss without person's knowledge.
An instrument inserted through the urethra and used by a urologist to cut out prostatic tissue while observation of where he/she is cutting.
Residual urine
Urine left over in the bladder after urination.
Retention (Urinary)
Urine is retained in the bladder because of an obstruction or other cause.
Retrograde ejaculation
When semen is ejaculated up into the bladder rather than out through the penis. This condition is considered harmless but it does produce infertility. It results from damage to the nerves that close the bladder opening, so ejaculation will go out through the penis. After TURP and other transurethral surgery, the bladder neck remains open during ejaculation, resulting in no external sperm discharge (dry pleasure).
Sacral nerve stimulation or sacral neuromodulation
Electrical stimulation therapy working on the nerves in the sacral region of the lower back.
Sacral nerves
Nerves that pass through the sacrum, at the base of the spine.
The bone in the back structure at the base of the spine where nerves pass.
Pouch containing testicles.
Mark left in tissue or skin after a wound has healed.
Sigmoid colon
Lower part of the colon that leads into the rectum.
Viewing the sigmoid colon and rectum with an instrument called a proctosigmoidoscope.
Muscle ring that surrounds and helps control or guard an opening, such as to the bladder or anus, or in the colon or stomach.
Sphincter, anal external
Ring of muscle that surrounds the lower part of the anus and acts like a valve. This muscle can be consciously controlled.
Sphincter, anal internal
Ring of muscle that surrounds the top of the anus and rectum that acts like a valve. This is an automatic muscle that can not be consciously controlled (smooth muscle).
Sphincter repair
Operation to fix problems with the sphincter muscle.
Sphincter, external urethral
Muscle that constricts the urethra to retain urine in the bladder. This muscle can be consciously controlled.
Sphincter, internal urethral
Smooth muscle in the neck of the bladder. This is an automatically controlled muscle and is only found in men.
Surgery to reconstruct the sphincter muscle.
Surgery to repair tears in the sphincter muscle.
Spina Bifida
Flaw in the spinal structure that leaves the spinal cord exposed through a gap in the backbone.
Spinal cord
Nerve fibres that run through the spine, connected to the brain. Forms the central nervous system.
Stapled transanal rectal resection
Operation to fix structural problems in the colon.
Short for anabolic steriod. A large group of chemical substances consisting of hormones, body substances or drugs. Some forms of steroids are used to treat colon disease.
A colostomy operation brings the colon to the surface of the abdomen. This opening is called a stoma is created so waste can be expelled from the colon through it.
The organ where food is received after eating and where the first part of the digestive process takes place.
Small hard mass found in an organ.
Excrement. Faeces (US feces). Waste from the bowel/colon.
Storage capacity (bladder)
Amount of fluid the bladder can hold.
Stress incontinence
Leakage from the bladder that happens when pressure is placed on the pelvic area due everyday actions, such as coughing, exercising or laughing. Can be due to a range of health issues such as prolapse, muscular weakness or tears.
Medicine in a conical or pellet-shaped tablet that is inserted in the rectum or vagina.
Branch of medicine that treats disease or injury through operative procedures. Also a doctor's office.
The coccyx or bottom portion of the spine (also see coccyx).
Tension free vaginal tape
Operation to correct bladder prolapse (slippage).
Two oval organs in males that produce sperm. They are enclosed in a sac called the scrotum and located behind the penis.
A functional group of cells that are alike and that work together for a specific function.
A type of therapy in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to focally damage and kill cells for a targeted treatment.
Toilet mapping
Practice of ensuring toilet location in a given journey or place.
Total pelvic floor repair
Combination of anterior levatorplasty and post anal repair.
Transurethral needle ablation therapy
Therapy to reduce the size of the prostate by using radiowaves to create lesions.
Transurethral microwave therapy
Therapy to reduce the size of the prostate by using microwaves to create lesions.
Transurethral resection of prostate
Operation to reduce the size of the prostate.
Tricyclic antidepressants
Medicines used to treat stress incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome (urge incontinence).
Tumour (US tumor)
Growth or swelling of tissue (benign or malignant).
TURP syndrome
A specific complication of up to 10% of patients undergoing TURP. It is caused by absorption of excessive amounts of irrigating fluid from the prostate during surgery. It is characterized by cardiovascular and neurologic manifestation, and considered a life-threatening condition.
Ulcerative colitis
A type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Technique using sound waves to make images of the body's interior.
Tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
Tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
Urgency urinary incontinence
Also known as Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB), urge incontinence or detrusor instability, where the bladder contracts before it is full causing an urgent and sudden need to go to the toilet. OAB can be wet (with leaking) or dry (no leaking).
Express need to go to the toilet.
Analysis of urine.
Urinary retention
Inability to completely empty the bladder.
Urinary system
The bodily system consisting of the organs that produce, collect, and eliminate urine and including the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra.
Urinary tract infection
Infection in the area of the urethra or bladder.
Expulsion of urine from the bladder through the urethra. Peeing.
The liquid emitted by the kidneys and accumulated in the urinary bladder.
Study of storage and urine flow.
Technique to assess urine explusion (volume and flow rate).
Urogynaecologist (US Urogynecologist)
A gynaecologist who has additional training in bladder and urinary continence problems.
Urogynaecology nurse
A nurse specialising in women's reproductive medicine and care, working with gynaecologists.
Urology nurse
Nurse specialising in urinary and bladder problems and reproductive organ health.
Urological surgeon and urologist
Doctor specialising in urinary and bladder problems for men and women, and men's reproductive organs and health.
Uterine balloon therapy
Implanted device used to keep the urethra closed.
Womb. Woman's reproductive organ where the foetus is conceived and develops.
The muscular tube in women that goes from the vulva to the cervix.
Vaginal cones
Special weights used to exercise pelvic floor muscles.
Vaginal sling
Operation to fix bladder slippage and keep the bladder in its proper place.
The tendrils that are found on top of the folds of the small intestine.
Virtual colonoscopy
Looking that the colon's interior by using a computer assisted X-ray machine.
A submicroscopic particle that replicates itself inside a cell using the cell's own genetic material.
White cells
Refers to blood cells that do not contain hemoglobin. White blood cells are made in bone marrow and help the body fight infection and other diseases as part of the immune system.
Uterus; female reproductive organ.
Technique used to see inside the body using short-wavelength electromagnetic waves.

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