FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PELVIC FLOOR!
We often hear that we should contract the pelvic floor muscles properly, especially while pregnant or after giving birth. But, what does that exactly mean? Here are two frequently asked questions to help you better understand the importance of the famous pelvic floor.
What does my pelvic floor do?
The pelvic floor is an important group of muscles that located in the perineum (between the pubic bone and the coccyx) and are present in the male and female. These muscles have many functions, but here are the 3 most important for prenatal and postnatal care:
- The pelvic floor helps maintain urinary and fecal continence
✔️ When the pelvic floor performs its function well, it creates pressure to close the urinary and fecal openings.
For exemple, if the pelvic floor muscles cannot support the pressure that the bladder is exerting, urine will leak as a result.
- The pelvic floor serves as a support for pelvic organs
✔️ This muscle group acts as a hammock to support, among other things, the bladder and the uterus.
For exemple, this support is present when there is adequate pelvic floor muscle tone. Without this support, prolapse (organ descent) may occur.
- The pelvic floor is important in the muscle stability of the trunk
✔️ It is activated to bring a balance between the pressures of the abdominal muscles, the diaphragm, and the lower back muscles.
For exemple, when we cough, abdominal pressure increases as a result of many muscles working at the same time. The pelvic floor muscles must contract in harmony with the other muscles to ensure support and prevent incontinence.
What can I do to strengthen my pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles like any other, which means that you can work on endurance and strength. Specific pelvic floor exercises that help the recruitment of these muscles are possible and easy to do at home. Here is an example :
Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Relax all your muscles. Squeeze your pelvic floor (as if you want to hold back from urinating) and hold this contraction for 5 seconds. Then, release the tension for 5 seconds. Repeat these steps 5 times. Relaxing the muscles after the contraction is just as important as the muscle contraction itself!
We wish you a happy International Women’s Day and don’t forget to take care of yourself!
Despite the tips, I still don’t understand how to properly strengthen my pelvic floor. What should I do?
If you feel like you need additional help, whether it is for advice or for an evaluation, we are here for you! Book an appointment at our clinic with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. It would be our pleasure to help you!