Let’s start with the basics
The pelvis protects and houses the pelvic organs.
- For females include: the bladder, uretha, uterus, vagina and/or bowels and anus
- For males its the bladder, urethra, prostate and/or bowels and anus
The pelvic region is a complex region as it not only houses the pelvic organs, but it protects many important structures such as the pelvic nerves and blood vessels. A lot of muscles of the hip, back, abdominals and groin also attach to the pelvis.
All of these structures in and around the pelvis work cohesively together to make sure we have a healthy pelvis.
What is the pelvic floor
The pelvic floor is such a versatile muscle.
- It is a hammock like muscle that supports the pelvic organs at the bottom of the pelvis
- It also opens and closes the openings of the urethra and anus and vagina for females
- Helps maintain bladder and bowel control
- It is involved in sexual function and is important for that all important orgasm
- It can also play a role in pelvic pain as well
The pelvic floor will be relevant at different stages of your life. Such occasions when the pelvic floor is important are:
- Pregnancy and post partum
- Having a vaginal delivery with or without assistance
- Any uro-gynaecological surgery can impact the strength of the pelvic floor
- Urinary leakage or changes to bladder control
- Pelvic pain, pain with intercourse and/or orgasm, pain with emptying your bladder and/or bowels
- Urological or gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis, bladder pain syndrome, interstitial cystitis,
- Constipation or faecal incontinence
- For males, the most likely change can be from changes to your prostate function
It is important that each individual has their own pelvic floor exercise program to ensure the right technique. The pelvic floor exercises will be targeted to manage and improve your symptoms.
Studies show that when verbally given cues to how to do pelvic floor exercises, there is a good percentage of individuals that actually do the wrong thing. Pelvic floor exercises are different to bottom bridges!