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Women's Pelvic Health

Pelvic Floor Muscles

Are you confident that you know how to correctly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles?
Have you ever wondered how strong your pelvic floor muscles are?

Your pelvic floor muscles (Kegel muscles) are the sling of muscles at the base of your pelvic that support your pelvic organs, help maintain bladder and bowel control and maintain healthy sexual function.
These muscles are affected by any increase in pressure in the abdomen eg. pregnancy, childbirth, lifting heavy objects including weight lifting, abdominal or pelvic surgery, obesity, chronic constipation, or a chronic cough.
You should be able to contract as well as fully relax your pelvic floor muscles as you need to.  Tight pelvic floor muscles can lead to ongoing pelvic, vulval, coccyx, bladder or bowel pain.  You may also experience pain with intercourse or inserting a tampon.
Did you know that 50% of women cannot contract their pelvic floor muscles correctly following verbal or written instruction.  In fact, 25% of women use a technique that could result in weakening of their pelvic floor.  It is vital that you know how to correctly contract and fully relax your pelvic floor muscles.

Common symptoms:

  • Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise or on your way to the toilet

  • Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine or empty your bowels

  • Having to pass urine frequently

  • Having to wake up several times at night to pass urine

  • A feeling of vaginal laxity, heaviness or bulge

  • Difficulty controlling wind or experiencing vaginal flatus

  • Difficulty emptying your bladder or bowel

  • Painful intercourse

  • Ongoing pelvic, vulval, coccyx, bladder or bowel pain

Possible causes:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles or over-tight pelvic floor muscles

  • Chronic constipation

  • Chronic cough

  • Obesity

  • Strenuous sports or repetitive heavy lifting at work or gym

  • Ageing and menopause

  • Neurological conditions

  • Genetic factors

  • Overtraining of core / abdominal muscles

  • Holding tension in the pelvic floor muscles due to stress

What can be done?

  • Research shows that a pelvic floor exercise program is most effective when prescribed under the guidance of a specifically trained physiotherapist rather than following information from a brochure or online.

  • We specialise in pelvic floor muscles so will provide you with a thorough assessment and design a personalised program that will meet your individual needs.  We will then guide you along the way whilst remaining discreet at all times.

  • Learn where the pelvic floor muscles are and how to use / relax them

  • Specific exercises will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles

  • Education on how to use these muscles in your daily activities including exercise or at work

  • Advice on preventing further weakness or over-tightness of these muscles

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