We all have questions about our pelvic health, that we are afraid to ask about. Whether we are embarrassed or unsure if our symptoms or concerns are considered "normal" or "not".
Let's get started!
1. How important is keeping our pelvic health a priority?
Our pelvic health is extremely important! Everything that happens in the pelvic floor is the basis of human need. If our pelvic floor isn't functioning properly, our physiological needs aren't being met. In other words, in order to have good sexual function, bladder function, bowel function and musculoskeletal function, we need good pelvic health!
2. What causes problems within the pelvic floor muscles?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by either hypotonicity (decreased tone/tension) or hypertonicity (increased tone/tension) in the pelvic floor muscles.
Some examples of decreased tone in the pelvic floor would lead to things such as incontinence (stress/mixed) and/or prolapse. Some examples of increased tone in the pelvic floor would be conditions like chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia (pain with sex), pudendal neuralgia, and low back pain.
3. What are some signs that someone can have a Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Some signs would be:
- Urinating more than 8 times a day
- Difficulty initiating urine or feeling a burning sensation when you urniate
- You feel pelvic pressure and/or pain
- Pain before or after having a bowel movement
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic Pain with sitting down
- Experience urine loss when you cough, jump or sneeze, or when you are on your way to the washroom
- You have been diagnosed with a pelvic condition such as endometriosis, piriformis syndrome, interstitial cystitis
4. Should I do Kegels for my Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Not necessarily. Kegels are not for everyone. Using exercises such as kegels, depend on if someone's pelvic floor muscles are weak (hypotonic), or tight (hypertonic). A variety of exercises and treatment options are available to address your specific needs. This is why connecting with a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is beneficial to ensure that you are educated on your condition, and the appropriate exercises to help improve your symptoms.
5. What can I do to improve my Pelvic Health?
SO MANY THINGS! This list is not exhaustive, but a great step in improving your overall pelvic health:
- Maintain good vulvar skin care
- Perform static or dynamic exercises (examples: bird dog, leg lowering, squats, pigeon pose, etc)
- Address your posture and strengthen muscles when warranted (deep core muscles, pelvic floor muscles, gluteal /hip muscles)
- have sex!
- Maintain a good diet with lots of fibre foods
- Good sleep hygiene!
- Incorporate mindfulness, relaxation, breathing and "yin" practices into your daily routine.
- Learn to connect with your pelvic floor muscles (lengthening, contracting).
References: Pelvic Health Solutions Inc. Level 1, Level 2/3a and 3b.
Click the link below to meet the team of Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Providers at Athlete's Care.