The muscles of your pelvic floor have an important job to do. They protect the bladder, bowels, and uterus–and can become weakened by a number of things including chronic coughing, childbirth, and more.
We tend not to think about the pelvic floor until it is in a weakened state. The reality is that having a strong pelvic floor is absolutely crucial if you want to maintain a happy, healthy life.
What are the benefits of a strong pelvic floor? We’re here to tell you!
Read on for nine benefits of a strong pelvic floor–and what you can do if you’re pelvic floor has become weakened.
1. Increased Bladder Control
One of the most common symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor is the loss of bladder control. It can also lead you to feel an increased need to urinate followed by minimal urine flow and eventually may cause bladder prolapse or bladder infections. A strong pelvic floor ensures that you will have better control of your bladder and regular urinary functions.
2. Easier Bowel Movements
Your pelvic floor muscles give you control over your bowels, making it easier to pass bowel movements. When your pelvic floor is weakened, it can lead to excessive straining and pain during bowel movements and may even cause constipation. Unfortunately, these issues can further weaken your pelvic floor, making it imperative to seek corrective treatment.
3. Protection Against Uterine Prolapse
Uterine prolapse is more common than you may think and for women over the age of 55, is the leading cause of hysterectomies. Uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become too weak to support the uterus. In fact, a strong pelvic floor can not only protect you from uterine prolapse, but also from the prolapse of the bladder and bowels.
4. Improved Recovery From Childbirth or Surgery
Childbirth and gynecological surgery are two of the most common causes of a weakened pelvic floor. The recovery process for both childbirth and surgery can be long and painful. A strong pelvic floor can help speed up that recovery process, relieve some of the related pain, and increase your overall wellbeing.
5. Increased Orgasmic Potential
The pelvic floor actually has quite a big role in a woman’s orgasmic potential. During sexual intercourse and other stimulating activities, the pelvic floor tenses. The pelvic floor then releases when an orgasm is achieved, and a strong pelvic floor makes this process not only more possible but more powerful.
6. Reduced Pain In Lower Back
Our lower back muscles need a lot of support in order to avoid straining, tearing, and other painful problems. We often hear that strengthening our core can help to protect the lower back, but did you know that strengthening your pelvic floor can also reduce back pain? The pelvic muscles are key in providing your lower back with the support it needs, which is why lower back pain is a common symptom of a weakened pelvic floor.
7. Reduced Pain During Sex
The pelvic floor is designed to relax during sexual intercourse to allow penetration. In some cases, issues with the pelvic floor don’t lead to weakness. Instead, they lead to tightness.
Many women whose pelvic floors are too tight experience pain during sexual intercourse. The good news is that many of the treatments designed for a weakened pelvic floor can also help with an overly tight pelvic floor, too.
8. Increased Ability to Exercise Comfortably
As we’ve mentioned, a weakened pelvic floor can lead to problems like the loss of bladder control or the frequent feeling that urination is necessary. It can cause uterine prolapse, issues with bowel movements, and pain in the lower back. Ultimately, all of these problems can make it far more uncomfortable to exercise.
By strengthening your pelvic floor, you’ll find that it’s easier to move with ease. Whether you love to stretch it out with yoga or hit the treadmill, you’ll be able to enjoy your exercise without the pain caused by a weakened pelvic floor.
9. Increased Confidence
A weakened pelvic floor causes a number of physical problems, but these physical problems are often accompanied by feelings of stress, anxiety, irritability, and frustration. It can also put limitations on stress-relieving activities, such as sexual intercourse and exercise.
With a strong pelvic floor, you can get back to enjoying life without worrying about your pelvic muscles. Most women find that having a strong pelvic floor provides an immediate confidence boost that’s well worth it!
How to Regain Your Strong Pelvic Floor
If you’re concerned about your pelvic floor, you’ve probably heard plenty about Kegel exercises. While Kegel exercises are useful for maintaining a strong pelvic floor, they often aren’t enough to help women who already have more serious pelvic issues.
If you have a weakened pelvic floor that is causing serious problems, we recommend talking to us about urogynecological procedures. Depending on the nature of your pelvic issue, we may suggest surgical or nonsurgical options. Oftentimes, your regular OB/GYN provider can detect pelvic floor issues, but can’t necessarily treat them–which is where we come in.
Weak Pelvic Floor? We’re Here to Help
As you can see, the advantages of a strong pelvic floor are nothing to ignore. Having a strong pelvic floor can improve your quality of life but it can also reduce your risk of serious health problems, such as uterine prolapse.
Dr. Peter Lotze is here to partner with your primary and OB/GYN physicians to address issues related specifically to the pelvic floor. Our goal is to provide our patients with treatment and transition them back to their primary or OB/GYN physicians in a seamless way. To find out more, contact us today or talk to your primary provider about our services.