11 Sep Pelvic Floor- the what, why, who, how and when?
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a sling that spans the bottom of the pelvis, much like a trampoline. It is comprised of muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves.
Why is it important?
The pelvic floor muscles (or Kegel muscles) help with:
- Bladder control
- Bowel control
- Pelvic organ support (bladder, bowel and uterus) to prevent vaginal prolapse
- Sexual arousal and satisfaction
- Back and pelvic support
Who needs it?
All women should do pelvic floor exercises! However, they are even more important if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have had children
- Had a big baby (over 4kg)
- Needed forceps during delivery
- Are overweight
- Do high impact exercise
- Are postmenopausal
- Pre and post prostatectomy (in men)
- Are having any symptoms of leaking urine, poor wind control, heaviness or dragging down below
How do I do them?
Pelvic floor exercises are a bit tricky and can be difficult to learn to do right. To begin, you should:
- ‘Imagine you are trying to stop yourself from passing urine and wind from your back passage’. Squeeze and draw in around the openings, then let them go
- Practice a few squeezes sitting on a firm chair. Try to do them as strong as you can and remember to let go each time
- Try not to hold your breath
- Do 10 short squeezes then 10 longer squeezes holding for 3 seconds. If this is easy try to increase the number that you do or how long you can hold for
- To do them every day
- Doing them in different positions such as lying, sitting, standing, walking, squatting or lunging.
When do I need help?
- If you are having symptoms (such as leaking, dragging, or heaviness down below)
- If you are unsure if you are doing the exercises incorrectly
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help. Book an appointment today!