What is Pelvic Floor?
Your pelvic floor is composed of muscles which are located between your legs. These muscles run from pubic bone at the front to the base of spine at the back. They are shaped like a sling.
Why is Pelvic Floor so important?
Your pelvic floor holds your pelvic organs (vagina, uterus, bowel, bladder) in place. The pelvic floor muscles of your body give you control when you urinate. They relax when your bladder contracts to pass urine out.
Having a weak pelvic floor makes it tougher for you to contract the muscles and let urine out. You might also accidentally leak urine when you cough or sneeze or exercise. This happens when your pelvic organs aren’t well-supported, making you feel a heavy and draggy sensation.
The pelvic floor also has an effect on your vaginal muscles. If you have a weak pelvic floor, you may find sex less satisfying.
As you get older, pelvic floor muscles become weaker. It’s important you keep your pelvic floor strong, as hormonal changes after menopause can cause more pelvic floor problems. Doing a few exercises everyday will go a long way and help you strengthen it.
How does pregnancy affect the Pelvic Floor?
You must have told that you need to strengthen your pelvic floor during pregnancy. Here’s why.
Your growing tummy puts weight on your pelvic floor. Thus the muscles and tissues can become weak or overstretched. This can lead to weakness before your baby is born.
Constipation, which is common in pregnancy, can put even more pressure on your pelvic floor.
How can Pelvic Floor exercises help me?
These exercises are known as Kegels and are very important during pregnancy. If done regularly, they can prevent urine leakage. Do ask your doctor about these exercises. It’s also a good idea to join a Yoga class to help you ease through the exercises.
Strong pelvic floor can help you to:
- Support your growing weight.
- Improve blood circulation to the area between anus and vagina, and thus heal it.
- Have a better love life, by making orgasms better and more likely.
How can I do Pelvic Floor exercises?
The first step is to know where your pelvic floor muscles are. To feel where they are, try to stop the flow of urine when you are in the toilet. However, don’t do this regularly as it can harm your bladder.
Pelvic floor exercises can be done in any position, any time of the day, whether full or empty stomach.
1) Try to contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to stop the urine to leak or trying to prevent gas to pass.
2) Contract for 3 seconds and relax for 3 seconds. Equal contraction and relaxation is important.
3) Repeat 5-6 times at a time, and can be done a total of 10-15 times in a day.
You should be able to see the results in a few months. You would be able to have a control on your bladder. Also your vagina’s sensitivity during sex would increase.
It is just as important to relax your pelvic floor as it is to contract it. After you tighten the muscles, relax them fully before tightening them again. You can also strengthen your pelvic floor by drinking fluids and peeing only when your bladder feels full.
If these exercises don’t help you control urination, tell your doctor. She will offer some advice on what to do.
How can I know if I’m doing the exercises right?
There is a way to check that. Only do this check if you don’t have any bleeding or infections in your vagina or bladder and haven’t been told to avoid sex.
While bathing, gently insert one or two fingers in your vagina. Start doing the exercises. If you feel a squeeze and lift inside the vagina, you are doing them correctly.