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Get to Know Your Pelvic Floor

Updated: Jun 22

Get to Know Your Pelvic Floor

There are so many questions and unknowns when thinking about or talking about the pelvic floor. This is because the pelvic floor and its functions are in an area that people rarely receive comprehensive education about. Between societal stigma and cultural taboo, we learn very little about this critical part of our body. The pelvic floor is a remarkable, yet often overlooked, part of our anatomy that plays a vital role in our daily lives. We seldom consider this area until something goes wrong. That being said, it is incredibly important to understand the anatomy and physiology in this part of our body.


So let’s talk about it! Pelvic health is our thing after all. Let’s learn what the pelvic floor is, how to maintain its health, and how to know when something is wrong.


What is the Pelvic Floor?


The pelvic floor has muscles that sling like a hammock from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to your tailbone in the back of your hips. These muscles sit like a bowl inside your pelvis and have numerous important functions. Your pelvic floor moves in two different ways, which relates to its functions. The pelvic floor muscles close and lift around the urethra, bowel, and vagina if you have one. This movement should happen automatically when you sneeze, cough, laugh, lift, stand, and squat. The pelvic floor also allows for relaxing and releasing, which happens when we are on the toilet urinating.


Get to Know Your Pelvic Floor

4 Main Functions of Pelvic Floor


  • Bladder & Bowel Control: The pelvic floor muscles play a key role in controlling the release of urine and maintaining bowel control. They contract to prevent leaks and relax when you are ready to empty and release.

  • Organ Support: The pelvic floor provides crucial support to the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and bowels. This support helps to keep these vital organs in their proper place and functioning correctly.

  • Sexual Health: The pelvic floor enhances sexual function and pleasure. In women, strong pelvic floor muscles can enhance sexual sensation and orgasms. In men, these muscles support erectile function and ejaculation.

  • Posture and Stability: The pelvic floor is a key part of the body’s core and works to support your posture. Strong pelvic floor muscles work with your abdominals to keep your spine and pelvis supported and upright.


Maintaining a Healthy Pelvic Floor


Get to Know Your Pelvic Floor
  1. Pelvic floor exercises are often a part of the work to heal your pelvic floor. This may mean relaxation and may mean strengthening. It is important to know the exact cause or problem you're facing before starting exercises. For example, if your pelvic floor muscles are too tight, kegels can exacerbate the problem.

  2. Incorporate core strengthening activities like resistance training, yoga, or Pilates, which focus on core strength and stability to help maintain pelvic floor health.

  3. Stay well hydrated and consume a fiber-rich diet to prevent constipation.

  4. Your posture can affect your pelvic floor, and vice versa. Creating and maintaining a routine of postural strengthening exercises can help you maintain good function throughout your life.


Pelvic Floor Concerns


Pelvic floor conditions and issues are a common problem. There are many contributing factors to pelvic floor issues like pregnancy, birth complications, aging, cancer treatments & surgeries, sexual abuse, and gender affirming surgery to name a few. 


Some of the more common issues include:

  • Bladder issues often include leaking, urgency, and frequency of urination. People often face stress and urge incontinence, which are related to sudden urges or accidents of urinary or fecal leaks. Stress incontinence can happen when someone laughs, coughs, sneezes, or even exercises. Urge incontinence can happen when someone feels very sudden urges and often leak on the way to the bathroom. 

  • Pelvic organ prolapse is an overstretching and lowering of the pelvic organs often related to weakness or over-lengthening of pelvic floor muscles.

  • Chronic pelvic pain can be a result of overactive or tight pelvic floor muscles.



Get to Know Your Pelvic Floor


Your pelvic floor plays a vital role in your overall health. By understanding its importance and taking steps to maintain its strength and flexibility, you can ensure it remains healthy and functional. A proactive approach to pelvic floor health can significantly improve your overall well-being. It’s never too late to start caring for your pelvic floor. Most issues and conditions can be healed or greatly improved with the help of a trained pelvic floor therapist. If you feel something is wrong or not functioning properly, reach out to a pelvic floor specialist.


 

If you have pelvic health concerns and would like to see how our therapists at

Embrace can help, follow the link to schedule your free discovery call.



embrace pelvic floor physical therapy


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