Pelvic Floor- the what, why, who, how and when?

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

Try:

  • 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!

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