Your pelvic floor is a series of muscles and connective tissues that support your bladder, rectum, and reproductive organs. Not only do these muscles help hold your organs in place, but they also give you control over those organs. For example, you use your pelvic floor muscles to eliminate solid waste and control your bladder. Like all muscle systems, your pelvic floor can sometimes become weak. When this occurs, pelvic floor therapy can be really helpful for strengthening your muscles. You can think of pelvic floor therapy as being a form of physical therapy but for a specific body part. So what are some signs that you could benefit from pelvic floor therapy?
You Have Frequent Urges to Urinate
This symptom is known as urge incontinence. It is common in women who have recently had children, and also in older women who have gone through menopause. The smallest amount of pressure on your muscles from a partially full bladder makes you feel like you have to urinate, but when you do, only a small amount of urine actually passes through. Pelvic floor therapy can strengthen the muscles surrounding your bladder so you don't feel the need to go as often. It can also help with the urine leakage some people experience as a part of incontinence.
You Struggle to Defecate
If you are frequently struggling to defecate, you could be dealing with constipation. Try eating more fiber and drinking more water to soften your stool. If you still find it hard to defecate when your stool is softer, then you may be dealing with a weak pelvic floor. Some pelvic floor therapy exercises that focus on strengthening the specific muscles you use to bear down can help correct this issue.
Sexual Intercourse Is Uncomfortable or Difficult
Women with weak pelvic floors often struggle to have pleasurable intercourse. You may feel too loose down there, or you may struggle with a lack of vaginal tone. Pelvic floor therapy can help. In most cases, your therapist will have you do an exercise known as Kegels, which have you contract your muscles, hold the contraction, and repeat. After a few therapy sessions, most people start to find sex more pleasurable again.
Your pelvic floor may not be visible, but it is a very important set of muscles and tissues. If you are dealing with any of the challenges above, don't hesitate to see a pelvic floor therapy clinic.