What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is the area between you and disaster. It is a thin layer of muscles and other tissue that spans the bottom of the pelvis between the tailbone at the back and the pubic bone at the front.
It supports the bladder, the uterus (womb) and the bowel (colon). It has 3 openings: the urethra (urine tube) the vagina and the anus (back passage). The pelvic floor muscles help to control these openings as well as playing a role during sex. Having a strong pelvic floor helps to prevent many issues.
- A weak pelvic floor causes:
- Urine leakage or incontinence (wetting yourself)
- Faecal incontinence (soiling yourself)
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Poor sexual response
How do I do Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Firstly find your pelvic floor. Sit or lie down and relax your tummy, leg and buttock muscles. Gently tighten the area around the vagina. You may notice your anus and/or the muscles around the urethra squeezing. They should be lifting up into your body.
See how long you can hold the muscles before they relax themselves. Try again and see if you can hold a second longer. You want to be able to feel a distinct letting go at the end of the contraction. If you do not feel this, your muscles may not be holding as long as you think they are.
You are doing a correct pelvic floor contraction if you can stop or slow the stream of urine when you try this on the toilet. PLEASE NOTE: only do this as a test once and not more than once per week. Doing it more frequently may cause bladder problems.
If you are having trouble finding or activating your pelvic floor please come and talk to a pelvic floor physiotherapist. You can make the muscles weaker if you are not doing the exercise well.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor muscle training will vary according to your problem and your goals. If the muscles are weak then they need to be strengthened with maximum contractions. If they are not lasting long enough then you may need to have an endurance program. These programs will be prescribed for you after the physiotherapist assesses you.
Like any other training program you will need to have a routine and stick to it in order to see improvement. Irmina will help you to develop this routine and fit it into your daily activities in a way that is not arduous.