What is a Woman’s Pelvic Floor?

WHAT ARE THE PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES?

A woman’s pelvic floor is a hammock-like group of muscles that originate from the pubic bone at the front and attach to the tailbone at the rear.

These muscles are designed to:

  • Support the pelvic organs: bladder, uterus and bowel
  • Assist in the opening/closing of these organs
  • Prevent incontinence and prolapse
  • Help contract intra-abdominal pressure

The voluntary contraction of pelvic floor muscles also allow for sexual sensation and arousal, yes!

It’s not easy to train a muscle that you can’t see. Did you know up to 40% incorrectly contract their pelvic floor muscles with verbal instruction?

WHAT ARE CORE MUSCLES?

Core muscles is a collective term for the transverse abdominus, multifidus, diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles work together to help you move and support your spine and pelvis. For this reason, it is important to practice good breathing techniques to ensure optimal recruitment and minimise downward stress on the pelvic floor especially during the pre and postnatal periods or surgery.

WHAT IS PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION?

This refers to the signs and symptoms that arise from changes in the way the pelvic floor muscles, fascia, and organs work including:

  • Incontinence (urinary or fecal or flatal)
  • Constipation
  • Prolapse
  • Dyspareunia
  • Pelvic pain

These concerns can be embarrassing and often have a negative impact on the quality of life.

ARE ALL THESE PROBLEMS DUE TO PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLE WEAKNESS?

The short answer is no! Pelvic floor muscles, like all muscles, are designed to contract and relax. Dysfunction can arise from either weakness (lacking strength and/or endurance), hypertonicity (muscles that are working too hard and don’t know how to switch off) or co-ordination difficulties.

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR WOMEN’S PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION?

  • Pregnancy and childbirth (it doesn’t matter if you birthed vaginally or via a C-section)
  • A history of constipation
  • BMI >25 kg/m2
  • A history of heavy lifting (occupational or recreational)
  • A history of chronic cough, smoker’s cough, bronchitis or asthma
  • Ageing
  • Hormonal (decrease in estrogen)

There are also reasons why you should get your pelvic floor muscles checked before you give birth. These muscles play a large role in pregnancy and childbirth and it’s always an advantage to know what to do beforehand, for pelvic floor healing.

CHECK IF YOU REQUIRE PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR YOUR PELVIC FLOOR:

Do you:

  • Accidentally leak urine when you exercise, play sports, laugh, cough, or sneeze?
  • Need to get to the toilet in a hurry, and do you sometimes not make it there in time?
  • Constantly need to go to the toilet?
  • Find it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel?
  • Accidentally loose control of your bowel, or accidentally pass wind?
  • Have a prolapse (e.g. a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, bubble or dragging in vagina or feel/see a bulge)?
  • Experience pelvic pain or pain during or after sex that involves vaginal penetration?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to consult with a physiotherapist.

At the Embrace Physiotherapy clinic, we help women embrace and regain control of their lives through physiotherapy. If you have any questions about a woman’s pelvic floor or are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, do email us or call us at 9780 7274.

You can also visit our website to learn about other women’s conditions we treat through physiotherapy.

 

5 Star Google Reviews
Embrace Physiotherapy is committed to 5 star client satisfaction.

5 star review  I started seeing Preet about 6 weeks ago to try and resolve a niggling back pain. Preet was patient and thorough in her review of what was causing the problem. I found Preet approachable, trustworthy and professional in her approach. She showed me a handful of exercises to do which reduced the pain and made me feel so much better. Her genuine passion for what she does alongside her practical approach makes the service at Embrace unbeatable. Thank you!

thumb Elizabeth Taylor
April 1, 2020

5 star review  It is so amazing to have this wonderful clinic in the East! (no need to go traipsing into the hospital areas/zones to access amazing care). I started seeing Preet at Embrace during the second trimester of my pregnancy. She's a really gifted physio - the kind who provides great treatment as well as in-depth information, underscored by excellent communication skills. She really helped to relieve the pain I was experiencing. I have since received post-natal care at Embrace and have also started going to their weekly pilates classes, which are targeted for women. It makes all the difference to have a pilates teacher who's already aware of all your physio requirements! 5 stars!

thumb Kirrilee Hughes
November 8, 2021

5 star review  Preet was super helpful with my pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and i saw a significant improvement post seeing her. Thank you!

thumb Nisha Urs
October 22, 2020

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