Why Pelvic Floor Exercises Are Important?
A woman’s pelvic floor supports the:
- uterus and
A strong pelvic floor is important for general health and especially important before, during and after pregnancy.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF A WEAK PELVIC FLOOR?
WHAT IS YOUR PELVIC FLOOR?
Your pelvic floor is a group of ligaments and muscles that attach to the front of your pubic bone and the back of your tailbone from the base of your pelvis.
It is important for women to do pelvic floor exercises before, during and after her pregnancy because this not only prevents stress incontinence during her pregnancy but also will speed up the recovery of the pelvic muscles post delivery.
During labour, the pelvic muscles are overly stretched and sometimes torn (particularly during traumatic deliveries or large babies). If the muscles are torn then time should be given (around 3 months) for healing before extensive pelvic floor muscles are recommended.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I EXERCISE MY PELVIC FLOOR?
Every woman should exercise her pelvic floor muscles every day. This will serve to improve muscle function and prevent any type of weakness during pregnancy and later in life.
HOW DO I IDENTIFY MY PELVIC FLOOR?
Find your pelvic floor muscles by:
Stopping urination mid flow
- Identify which muscles are holding back the urine and then releasing.
- Try this again when you are not on the toilet.
Stop Passing Wind
- Pretending not to pass wind or urinate.
- Hold tight for 5-7 seconds, and then release slowly.
- Repeat 10 times
- Do this every day, three times a day.
Try a different position each time you do it (sitting, standing, lying) but
- Lie down and relax your muscles.
- Then squeeze in the muscles of the front part of your pelvis (like stopping urinating).
- Identify your vaginal muscles and suck upwards with them,
- While then squeezing in muscles around under your tailbone as if you were trying to stop passing wind.
- Identify all of these regions and the muscles you are using, then release and tense again.
CONSIDER CLINICAL PILATES
It is important to get the technique right to be effective. You may need to sit or lie down to contract the right muscles. If you cannot identify them, you may want to consider Clinical Pilates and seeing a women’s physiotherapist can help you get started.
There is a range of Clinical Pilates exercises you can do to strengthen your core, and by association, your pelvic floor.
A very effective exercise is to
- Lie on your back
- Bring your knees up into a raised, tabletop position.
- Raise your head up to begin the contraction of your muscles,
- Extend your arms in front of you on either side of your thighs
- Extend your legs to a 45-degree angle.
- Begin pumping your arms up and down 100 times,
- Remembering to breathe in and out as you do.
Your Next Step
If you are experiencing any problems like urine incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse or sexual dysfunction whether pain or dryness please seek initial help from your general practitioner or contact Dr Alexander at http://www.my-obgyn.com.au/contact/ for specialised help and advise on assessment and treatment.