Our Grace physiotherapists know the importance of having strong pelvic floor muscles, but do you?
For many women, the first time you hear the term ‘pelvic floor’ is either in a fitness class or during pregnancy. And then you never stop hearing about it!
Thankfully, things are changing and it’s becoming a more popular topic. Women are getting to know how to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and why it’s so important.
Your pelvic floor is an amazing collection of muscles that span between the pubic bone at the front and the tailbone in the rear. They support the uterus, bowel and bladder.
When contracted, the pelvic floor muscles lift the internal organs off the pelvis and tighten the openings of the vagina, anus and urethra. When relaxed, the muscles allow the release of urine, faeces and wind.
Pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function, contributing to sexual sensation. When women are pregnant these muscles provide support for the baby.
There are many things that can cause pelvic floor muscles to weaken in women, including:
Consistent heavy lifting.
Ongoing constipation and straining.
High impact exercise.
Pelvic surgery and radiotherapy.
Incontinence when you cough, sneeze, laugh or run.
Can’t reach the toilet in time or frequently need to go.
Accidentally passing wind.
Pain in the pelvic area.
A prolapse – a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness or discomfort
When pelvic floor muscles are working fine, everything is great, however when something goes wrong it can cause pain and discomfort.
Your pelvic floor muscles won’t strengthen on their own and just like other muscles within your body, they need to be trained so they can perform at their best.
Pelvic floor exercises can help improve bowel and bladder control, help you recover after childbirth, pregnancy or pelvis surgery, increase sexual sensation and reduce the risk of a prolapse. You will also feel more confident and comfortable with your body.
Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as if you’re stopping the flow of urine, holding onto wind or holding in a tampon.
Lift the perineum (skin between the vagina and anus) away from your underwear.
Noticed a problem with your pelvic floor? What should you do?
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort or any of the above symptoms, it’s best to speak with your doctor or a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor issues.
At Grace Private our qualified physiotherapists treat all types of pelvic concerns and will share advice on exercises and management options. There’s no need for a referral, make an appointment online or call 07 5594 7632.