According to recent studies, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction affects 1 in 4 women during their lifetime. But, it seems to be something we hear little about. The symptoms are common, but it seems a little embarrassing to talk about.
So, in this article, I’m going to explain Pelvic Floor Dysfunction - from the causes and symptoms, to exercises you can perform to help eliminate the pain, stress, and embarrassing moments.
We no longer have to suffer in silence!
Let’s start by learning more about pelvic floor health and pelvic floor dysfunction.
What is the pelvic floor?
Simply explained, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments and tissues combined, which act as a support to a number of your organs, including the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum in the lowest part of the pelvis.
This may sound a little hard to stomach (pardon the pun!) but, the pelvic floor basically prevents your organs from falling down or out of the body - it keeps everything working perfectly.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is when the muscles of the pelvic floor become torn or weak. When the muscle gets damaged, the pelvic organs may drop down and protrude into the vagina. In some severe cases, the organs may protrude all the way to outside the body.
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
Most of the causes of pelvic floor dysfunction are unknown, however, all symptoms include weakened muscles or torn muscles. This means the pelvic floor can no longer provide the support that your organs need.
Childbirth, strenuous exercise and other complications can all contribute to the condition.
What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?
If you are suffering with pelvic floor disorder, you may experience:
- Chronic pelvic pain that radiates to the groin, abdomen and back
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Strong or frequent urge to urinate
- Burning during urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal burning
- Painful menstrual periods
- Difficulty with defecation and constipation
How Exercise can help
Pelvic floor exercises can help to reduce the symptoms, including stress incontinence, however, exercise will not affect prolapse itself.
If the dysfunction is mild, then exercise can help by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises target the muscles around the vagina, urethra, and rectum—the muscles used to stop a stream of urine. With these exercises, the muscles are squeezed and held for a couple of seconds, then relaxed for 10. After a while, you can up the squeeze time.
I’d recommend doing this 5-10 times a day for approx 5 minutes each time. Kegel exercises can be performed sitting, standing, or lying down - so basically anywhere!
If you’d like to talk about the exercises you can do, or if you want to talk more about Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, please contact me and we will talk more!