The pelvic floor is a collection of muscles around your pelvis i.e. the area where your bladder, rectum, uterus and prostate are. The pelvic floor plays a role in a number of important bodily functions which is why there has been a rise in exercises like Kegels which are designed to strengthen it. Here are some key things everyone should know about the pelvic floor.
Functions of the pelvic floor
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, colon, rectum, vagina cervix and uterus. It works in unison with the hip muscles, lumbar spine and diaphragm to stabilize your hips and trunk, helping you stand upright and walk.
The pelvic floor muscles also play a role in sexual function. They strengthen orgasms and erections and play a role in heightening sexual sensation. In women, they help promote lubrication during sexual activity by increasing blood flow to the pelvic area. They also help both men and women with control over their urinary and bowel function which is especially important during sex. How Kegel Exercises Can Improve Your Sex Life And Orgasms
Symptoms of a problem with your pelvic floor
When your pelvic floor becomes lose you are likely to experience:
- Painful urination
- Incontinence (urinary and faecal)
- Pelvic or lower back pain
- Pain during sex and difficulty achieving orgasm
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty controlling gas
Causes of weak pelvic floor muscles
Your pelvic floor can become loose as a result of:
Ageing: pelvic floor dysfunction can start at menopause as oestrogen levels begin to fall
Pregnancy and childbirth: childbirth puts undue stress on the body and reproductive system.
High-impact exercises: such as exercises that require jumping with both legs off the ground simultaneously
When the pelvic floor muscles are too tight, a condition known as pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, it can result in painful sex and pain during bowel movements and urination.
How to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
Strengthening your pelvic muscles has many benefits from boosting your reproductive health to stronger, more frequent orgasms. It increases the blood supply to the vagina and penis, maintaining nerve activity which results in improved sexual sensation and satisfaction.
Women largely because of childbirth are more likely to deal with pelvic floor issues. Still, men are not wholly in the clear with about one-third of men over 50 dealing with lower urinary problems. Both men and women stand to benefit from strengthening those muscles.
Kegel exercises are simple clench-and-release exercises that you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You can exercise and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles while sitting and watching your favourite tv show. Clench your pelvic muscle and hold it for five-second then release. You can do this exercise anywhere, sitting in the privacy of your home, lying in bed or even standing in line at the bank. You just have to make sure you’re clenching the right muscles. Your body should not move while you’re doing the exercise. All the movement should be on the inside.
If you feel pain after the kegel exercise session, you’re doing it wrong. There should be no pain. Also, don’t overdo it. If you overwork the pelvic floor muscles, they’ll become tired and will be unable to fulfil their necessary functions. You don’t want that.
If you’re really worried, you should speak to a healthcare provider. After performing an examination, they may recommend physical therapy for pelvic floor muscles.
Benefits Of Kegel Exercises For Men And Women
Health: Are You Peeing A Lot? Common Reasons For Frequent Urination
Health: 5 Best Exercises For An Easier Delivery