fbpx

6 myths about your pelvic floor

Here at Embrace, we would like to emphasise that embracing and taking control of your pelvic health is a valuable gift; regardless of age, childbirth experience, or delivery method. It’s more than just a few squeezes. Have a read about the pelvic floor here, then come back here and let’s debunk some common misconceptions! Hopefully, it will empower you to be intentional with your pelvic health.

MYTH 1: PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES ARE ONLY FOR SEDENTARY OR OLDER INDIVIDUALS.

Ingrid Nygaard and her team (1994) studied female athletes with an average age of 20 and found that a significant percentage experienced urinary incontinence during sports, with specific rates for various activities.

  • Gymnastics 56%, ballet 43%
  • Aerobics 40%, badminton 31%, volleyball 30%
  • Athletics 25%, handball 21% and basketball 17%
  • Netballers – one in every three
  • Trampolinists 72.7%

This highlights that pelvic health issues can affect young and active individuals due to the repetitive nature of certain activities, leading to weakened support structures (ligamentous, fascial, or muscular).

The pelvic floor muscles, like any other muscles, require regular use to maintain strength. Starting pelvic floor exercises earlier in life establishes a foundation for the childbearing and perimenopausal years and beyond. #skillsforlife

 

MYTH 2: PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES ARE ONLY FOR WOMEN WHO GIVE BIRTH VAGINALLY.

  • Fact A: A significant risk factor for postpartum urinary incontinence is women who experience it during pregnancy, regardless of the delivery method (Foldspang A. et al. 2004).
  • Fact B: By the age of 59, the rate of urinary incontinence is the same for both vaginal and c-section deliveries (Rortveit G. et al. 2003).
  • Fact C: Changes to the pelvic floor begin during pregnancy, with a potential 25% weakening.

MYTH 3: IT’S NORMAL TO LEAK URINE AFTER BIRTH.

 

Repeat after me – it’s common but not normal, and help is available. While some women may not be bothered by it, that’s great. But, if you are not ok with it and don’t want it to be your new norm, then reach out!

Urinary incontinence is common, affecting one-third of women during their lifetime. However, there are numerous interventions available, including education, advice, strengthening, relaxation techniques, and pessaries, tailored to an individual’s pelvic health assessment.

 

MYTH 4: I JUST NEED TO FOCUS ON SQUEEZING.

Muscles need both contraction and relaxation. Often, there’s an excessive focus on strengthening and endurance, neglecting the importance of letting go. This is particularly common among postnatal individuals who fear issues like pelvic organ prolapse.

Subconsciously, our pelvic floor relaxes when we inhale and contracts when we exhale. Stress, shallow breathing, or lack of relaxation can result in a naturally tense pelvic floor. Therefore, during pelvic floor exercises, remember to emphasise full relaxation between reps. Read more about the pelvic floor here

MYTH 5: MY PROBLEMS ARE BECAUSE I HAVE A WEAK PELVIC FLOOR.

Think of your pelvic floor muscles as springs.

A stiff spring doesn’t move much, while an over-stretched spring loses its springiness. Stretched muscles can be weak, but so can stiff tight muscles. Muscles work through a range of motion for optimal strength, force, and power generation.

Your pelvic health concerns may not be solely due to a stretched spring but could involve a stiff, tight one. Only a detailed pelvic floor exam can help understand your contributing factors.

MYTH 6: I NEED TO FIX MY DIET AND DRINK MORE WATER TO ADDRESS MY CONSTIPATION

Did you know that having a bowel movement involves relaxing pelvic floor muscles? While managing fluid and food intake is definitely important to help your constipation, consider that the way you poo, may be a factor. Women’s Health Physiotherapists can assess your defecation dynamics and teach you how to poo like a pro!

Those are just some of the myths about the pelvic floor, and we’ve now debunked them!

If you would like to learn more about your pelvic health, please call or WhatsApp us at 9780 7274, or email us at help@embracephysio.sg.

Feel free to look through our website, where you can learn about other women’s health conditions we treat. This is a safe space where we can discuss how we can help you with physiotherapy.

Note: While I am a physiotherapist, I am not your personal physiotherapist. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as individual medical advice.

Reference:

  1. https://www.embracephysio.sg/what-is-the-pelvic-floor/
  2. https://www.embracephysio.sg/what-is-urinary-incontinence/
  3. Foldspang A, Hvidman L, Mommsen S, Nielsen JB. Risk of postpartum urinary incontinence associated with pregnancy and mode of delivery. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2004 Oct;83(10):923-7.
  4. Rortveit G, Daltveit AK, Hannestad YS, Hunskaar S; Norwegian EPINCONT Study. Urinary incontinence after vaginal delivery or cesarean section. N Engl J Med. 2003 Mar 6;348(10):900-7. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa021788. PMID: 12621134.
  5. Nygaard IE, Thompson FL, Svengalis SL, Albright JP. Urinary incontinence in elite nulliparous athletes. Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Aug;84(2):183-7. Erratum in: Obstet Gynecol 1994 Sep;84(3):342. PMID: 8041527.
5 Star Google Reviews
Embrace Physiotherapy is committed to 5 star client satisfaction.

I highly recommend Embrace Physiotherapy for postnatal physio. As a first time mom, I had no idea what I would need to do to rehab myself, or what to expect for recovery pace and safely resuming exercise. Alex was professional, caring, relatable and offered customised exercises to help with my pelvic floor and core. She also did a return to running assessment and provided suggestions for starting back my exercise routine. Plus the overall management and customer service at Embrace is amazing - the whole experience was so worth it.

Monika Reitmeyer Avatar Monika Reitmeyer
March 12, 2023

I chanced upon Embrace after a brief search on Google. The all-female staff and physios is what made me decide to book an appointment. You can see all their smiley faces on the website and I sent a message through watsapp immediately. Efficient response within a few hours and the rest is history. I am fortunate to be served by both Brenda and Preet. To be honest, my experience there for almost a year do not feel like a typical consultation or rehab session. They are client centric and all ears to your needs. I had great conversations while being comfortable discussing about my pelvic floor health. You don’t have to be shy asking questions when you want to make the best out of every session. You are in good hands with their knowledge and experience. I have benefited and improved the quality of my pelvic floor health by following a well devised plan. I went in from almost a prolapse and weak PF. Now, i feel my best getting back to running and strength training. Look no further if you want to be in the best of hands for your pelvic floor health. Thank you Embrace!

marlina amad ali Avatar marlina amad ali
April 28, 2023

I had some sessions with Preet from half of my pregnancy to 7 months and it was a total relief. During pregnancy, Preet helps me with sciatic nerve and after delivery she helped me with c-section scar and perineal floor. It was each time a total relief. Preet and her staff are very kind. You can go without asking question!

Corinne GRONDIN Avatar Corinne GRONDIN
January 15, 2024

Embrace life. Embrace Physiotherapy.

Looking to make an appointment? We are here to help! Booking an appointment online with Embrace Physiotherapy is the most confidential, convenient way to lock in the practitioner & time you want.