When people talk about the pelvic floor there’s always this blank stare as if it didn’t even exist. Well, let me tell you that the pelvic floor is very much a part of our bodies and most often than not it’s ignored and damaged.
It’s important to understand what the Pelvic Floor actually is, how it is weakened, and how to strengthen it.
This is mostly beneficial for pregnant women, women in postpartum recovery, and also useful before pregnancy.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The Pelvic Floor is a conjunction of muscles along your pelvic bone.
These muscles are the support for the organs in that particular area, they form a sort of net a very tight net.
When these muscles are weakened or just weak, they cause all sorts of problems.
Some of the most common issues linked to a weak pelvic floor are:
- Bladder Leaks
- A burst of air out of your vagina
- Heavy Pelvic Sensation
- Reduced Vaginal Sensation (during intercourse).
How Is The Pelvic Floor Weakened?
Many things can cause a weak pelvic floor but the most common are:
- Supporting the weight of the uterus during pregnancy.
- Vaginal childbirth
- Lower levels of estrogen after menopause.
In rare cases, the internal organs supported by the pelvic floor, including the bladder and uterus, can slide down into the vagina. This is called a prolapse, a distinct bulge in the vagina and deep, persistent vaginal aching are common symptoms.
How to Restore The Pelvic Floor
There are a lot of ways to figure out whether or not you have a weak pelvic floor, so I will give you some pointers as to what to do.
I will also share some exercises that will help restore and strengthen the pelvic floor.
There are three areas where you can determine the ability to control your pelvic floor.
- Vaginal – insert one or two fingers into your vagina and try to squeeze them
- Urethral – imagine you are passing urine and try stopping the flow in midstream (do not do this while urinating).
- Anal – pretend you are trying to stop yourself from breaking wind and squeeze tightly.
Exercises that will help restore and strengthen the pelvic floor.
Gradually squeeze all three sphincters with each exercise.
Increase the tension until you have contracted the muscles as hard as you can.
Release gently and slowly.
Pelvic Floor Exercises:
- Squeeze slowly and hold as strongly as you can for 5 to 10 seconds while breathing normally. Release slowly. Repeat up to 10 times. Relax for 5 to 10 seconds between each one.
- Perform quick, short, strong squeezes. Repeat 3 to 5 times. Once you feel comfortable, repeat 10 times.
- Remember, squeeze the muscles whenever you clear your throat or cough.
You can perform pelvic floor exercises while lying down, sitting, or standing.
For an easy visual guide, play the video below. This particular video talks more about pilates but it mentions the pelvic floor and I think it is a good informative source…
Also, I found Dana Landgren she is a qualified personal trainer with over 10 years of experience in fitness and goes more in-depth into how to strengthen the pelvic floor and core for only $13.95. Find more information about her guide here.
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Thanks so much for reading!
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Sources and References:
Adapted from Pelvic Floor, Better Health
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