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What exactly is my Pelvic Floor?

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As an adult female it’s hard not to hear about your pelvic floor. You’ve probably got friends who have told you how important it is to do your pelvic floor exercises when pregnant, you’ve probably got friends who avoid doing burpees in the gym as they don’t want to leak on their leggings and there’ll most definitely be someone in your coffee shop who has a pelvic floor ‘issue’.....even if they don’t talk about it.

What is my pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscles and connective tissue which stretch like a hammock from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone at the front. It supports the pelvic organs: bladder, uterus and bowel, helps you to control your bladder and bowel and ultimately…..stay dry. It is extremely important to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong.

Why is it SO important?

A weak pelvic floor increases the risk of bladder and bowel leakage, and pelvic organ prolapse. Women of all ages need to have strong pelvic floor muscles. They can become weak due to many reasons:

  • Not keeping them active (they are the same as any other muscle)

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Constipation

  • Heavy lifting

  • Persistent coughing

  • Ageing

Facts about the female pelvic floor

  • 1 in 3 women in Australia experience bladder leakage. This is not normal, and no woman should have to put up with incontinence.

  • Only 1 in 3 of these women seek professional help

  • Approximately 80% of women’s symptoms can be improved/cured by Women’s Health Physio

  • Approximately 50% of women are not doing their exercises correctly…..which may be making the situation worse!

  • Exercises need to be tailored to you as an individual depending on many factors i.e. the level/type of exercise you do, if you’re pregnant/recovering from birth, what type of symptoms you have, how strong your pelvic floor is and whether you can even get a pelvic floor muscle contraction (many women struggle)

And the the above doesn’t motivate you to do your pelvic floor exercises then how about……..

  • A stronger pelvic floor can lead to a better orgasm!!!

How can I prevent pelvic floor issues?

  • In an ideal world….all women should get their pelvic floor function checked by a Women’s Health Physio.

  • More specifically, if you have any concerns, seek help from a Women’s Health Physio who can accurately assess and treat your symptoms.

  • If you are pregnant and past the first trimester, book an appointment with your Women’s Health physio to ensure that you are in the 50% of the female population who are contracting your pelvic floor correctly. Quite possibly the only thing worse than not doing your pelvic floor exercises when pregnant, is doing them incorrectly!

  • Once baby is here and you’ve survived the whirlwind to reach 6 weeks, book an assessment with your Women’s Health Physio to thoroughly assess your ability to return to exercise….they will be able to guide you as to which types of exercises your pelvic floor is ready for and minimise the risk of pelvic organ prolapse and bladder leakage.

Activate Physio for Women is a specialist women’s health physio clinic in Brookvale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and if you’re in the area we’d love to be part of your journey.

www.activate.care

(02) 9948 0004

welcome@activate.care

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