Looking after your pelvic health does not only apply during pregnancy or in the early days postpartum. You pelvic floor is a vital part of many different physical functions, and when dysfunctional can present with a range of symptoms. For women, pelvic health is often overlooked and down-played. Breaking the taboo around speaking up when something is not right and prioritising your internal health over the external takes courage and bravery, as we are conditioned to place more value on the latter. Your pelvic health is also inextricably linked to your hormone health, and of course you whole body health.
Knowledge is potential power, once you have the knowledge you can then begin to apply wisdom, and take action in a way that is applicable to your life and your circumstances. There is not right or wrong, only what is correct for you and your body.
A quick anatomy lesson.
Your pelvic floor is a part of your deep core system. Your deep core system is made up of
The pelvic floor
The transverse abs
It then speaks to and links in with the outer core system which consists of
The rectus abdominals
The internal and external obliques
The latissimus dorsi
Often the emphasis is placed on the outer core system which can be one contributing factor to pelvic floor and core dysfunction.
What does your deep core and in particular your pelvic floor do?
Your pelvic floor
supports your pelvic organs – the bladder, bowels and uterus
In controls sphincter action for the bladder and bowels to open
It relaxes to allow sexual intercourse
It relaxes and expands to allow a vaginal delivery to occur
As a part of the core system in contributes to lumbar stability, core stability, movement, respiration
What happens when we have dysfunction in the pelvic floor and deep core system?
Your body may show the following symptoms
- Bladder/bowel incontinence
- Pelvic pain
- Lower or upper back pain
- Prolapse of the pelvic organs
- Abdominal wall dysfunction
- Diastasis Recti
- Breathing dysfunction
- Neck pain
- Painful sex
- Urinary hesitancy
- Decreased mobility through the hips/pelvis/lower back
- A weak ‘core’
- Glute pain/ underactive or overactive glutes
These are just some of the most common and it’s important to remember that every body is different and will express itself in a manner depending on your life and circumstances. Note that pregnancy and childbirth are not solely responsible for these outcomes.
How can we support our pelvic floor?
- Correct postpartum or post-surgery recovery if applicable
- Return function to the pelvic floor and diaphragm’s relationship – they speak to each other so if there is an issue with the diaphragm this can/will affect the pelvic floor.
- Correct breathing – exhale on the exertion!
- Optimal bowel and bladder habits
- Meditation and breathwork
- Drink more water
- Supporting your body in a way that is correct for your lifestyle! A person who sits all day VS a person who stands all day will need a different approach – there is no one size fits all!
- Optimal hormone support
- Optimal nutrition – as this affect your digestive system …and it is all connected!
- Correct pelvic floor training and integration which includes both strengthening and release work.
Ready to take charge of your health? If you are in need of a pelvic health assessment I recommend seeing a Women’s Health Physiotherapist so that you can get a more detailed picture of your pelvic health. You can search for Women’s Health Physio’s in your area via the squeezy app directory www.squeezyapp.com
Addressing chronic stress and nourishing your hormones is vital to supporting your pelvic health and for more details on my courses head to the “courses” page.