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What is the pelvic floor?

Updated: May 18, 2022

Chances are, the pelvic floor isn't something you've thought much about. Easy to take for granted, it's an amazing system of muscles that hold everything together, supporting the day to day tasks that go unnoticed but are so essential to our lives.

The pelvic floor muscles are located between the tailbone (coccyx) and the pubic bone within the pelvis. They support the bowel and bladder (as well as the uterus and vagina in women).

Childbirth, weight gain and menopause can all take a toll on your pelvic floor. Pain, reduced sensation and incontinence are all symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, and can really hinder your enjoyment of life. But, there's hope! Proper muscular training, and physical therapy, can often restore your pelvic floor muscles.

The symptoms of a pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or running

  • failing to reach the toilet in time

  • passing wind from either the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting

  • reduced sensation in the vagina

  • tampons that dislodge or fall out

  • a distinct bulge at the vaginal opening

  • a sensation of heaviness in the vagina

  • a heaviness or dragging in the pelvis or back

  • recurrent urinary tract infections, or recurrent thrush

  • vulval pain, pain with sex, inability to orgasm.

Causes of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction

The pelvic floor can be weakened by:

  • supporting the weight of the uterus during pregnancy

  • vaginal childbirth, which may overstretch the muscles

  • the pressure of obesity

  • chronic constipation and straining to poo

  • constant coughing

  • some forms of surgery that require cutting the muscles (including prostate cancer treatment in males)

  • lower levels of oestrogen after menopause

  • pelvic floor muscle tension caused by painful periods, endometriosis.

If you are struggling with the side effects of a weak pelvic floor, I'd love to help! There is so much we can do to strengthen your muscles and help you regain total health. Give me a call at (229) 233-6677 today!

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