5 Things I Wish All Women Knew About Their Pelvic Floor

5 Things I Wish All Women Knew About Their Pelvic Floor

As a women’s health physiotherapist, I am a massive advocate for pelvic health. Regular pelvic floor assessments can help improve quality of life, confidence, and overall health as women progress through the stages of womanhood. Here are five things I wish all women knew about their pelvic floor.

But first, what is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor muscles are often overlooked but play a vital role in supporting your bladder, bowel, and uterus in women. They act like a strong foundation, keeping everything in place and functioning properly. These muscles are necessary for maintaining control over your bathroom visits, providing support to your organs, and contributing to your core strength. When they are functioning well, you won’t even be aware of them. However, if they become weak or strained, they can lead to issues such as leaks or back discomfort.

Here are five things I want you to know about your pelvic floor muscles …

1. Your Pelvic Floor Doesn’t Work Alone

The deep lower core is made up of several important muscles that work together to support our body. It includes the diaphragm, which helps us breathe, the transverse abdominis, the multifidi, and the pelvic floor. These muscles form a cylindrical shape, with the diaphragm at the top, the pelvic floor at the bottom, the transverse abdominis wrapping around the sides and front, and the multifidi supporting the back. By effectively utilising this system, we can achieve stability in our body. Think of the deep lower core as the base that allows our outer system (arms, legs, head) to move efficiently. A strong foundation enables greater mobility. The pelvic floor is especially important as it supports our posture and even the weight of our head. When our posture is correct, the pelvic floor and diaphragm are aligned with each other. Having proper posture means your pelvic floor and diaphragm are aligned, with the diaphragm directly above the pelvic floor and your head above the diaphragm. It is important to consider the function of the pelvic floor and how it relates to the rest of the body in order to achieve ideal posture.

2. Losing Control Of Your Bladder Isn’t Normal

We are often led to believe that as we grow older, it is natural to lose control of our bladder and bowels. We are told that due to childbirth, we may experience leaks when jumping, laughing, coughing, or sneezing. Some women are told that sex can be painful and that they should find a way to enjoy it more!

There are products and surgeries available to assist us, and this is considered the best option. However, this is not the case. When dealing with weakness or tightness in the ankle, surgery is rarely the initial solution (though it may be necessary in some cases). The pelvic floor should be treated in a similar way. While these issues are common in our society, they are not normal, and there is no need to simply accept them!

Working with a women’s health physiotherapist and attending a pelvic floor assessment will help you overcome these problems and start living life without worrying about leakages. 

3. The Common Symptoms Of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Some signs of pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • Urinary leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising
  • Difficulty reaching the toilet in time
  • Passing gas from the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting
  • Decreased feeling in the vagina
  • Tampons slipping out or falling out
  • A noticeable protrusion at the vaginal opening
  • Feeling of heaviness in the vagina
  • Heaviness or pressure in the pelvis or lower back
  • Repeated urinary tract infections or yeast infections
  • Pain in the vulva, painful intercourse, or inability to climax

4. The Postpartum Period Is An Ideal Time To Prioritise Your Pelvic Floor Health

The period after giving birth, known as the “fourth trimester,” is a good time to discuss any changes you may be experiencing in your pelvic muscles with a women’s health physiotherapist or gynaecologist. It is crucial to remember that your pelvic floor health plays a significant role in your overall well-being. By working closely with a women’s health physiotherapist, you can ensure that your pelvic floor receives the care and attention it needs. During this time, you may be experiencing issues such as pelvic pain, incontinence, or pelvic organ prolapse.

These symptoms are common after childbirth but should not be ignored. A women’s health physiotherapist can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles through exercises and techniques that are specific to your needs.

It is important to address these issues sooner rather than later to prevent them from becoming more serious or affecting your quality of life. By seeking help from a women’s health physiotherapist, you can receive the support and guidance you need to improve your pelvic floor health and overall well-being.

5. It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way – You Can Improve Your Pelvic Floor Function

The most important thing I want you to know!  If you are struggling with any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, know that you don’t have to accept them as a part of your everyday life. Take charge, and don’t settle for living with discomfort. One of the most rewarding aspects of addressing these issues is realising the power you have to build a strong connection with this part of your body. It goes beyond just physical strength; it plays a significant role in our overall well-being – both physically and emotionally. Let’s work towards a healthier, happier you!

Book A Pelvic Floor Assessment With The Mum Physio

Wondering what to do next? Go on a quest to find a pelvic health physical therapist or a women’s health physical therapist. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need assistance in finding one. Additionally, don’t be afraid to discuss this with your friends, family, and doctor. Communication is key when it comes to pelvic health, and it’s crucial that we all have the knowledge and awareness about it. Let’s talk about it!

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