Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor
What is the pelvic floor?
The Pelvic floor (PF) is made up of muscles that spread across the bottom of your pelvis. They work to support your pelvic organs. This includes your bladder, intestines, and uterus in women.
PF muscles contract and incorporate both a squeeze and lift. They work with your back and deep abdominal muscles. These support the spine and pressure inside the abdomen.
When the control of these muscles is lacking, it can often lead to pelvic pain, incontinence and prolapses. This is otherwise known as a “Pelvic floor dysfunction”. Having a PF dysfunction can result in the muscles being over stretched, weakened or overactive (too tight). One of the most common symptoms is incontinence (bladder or bowel).
The PF is also important for sexual function for both men and women. It provides significant support for women especially in pre pregnancy; during and after birth. As the baby grows, it increases the downward pressure inside the abdomen and onto the PF. Your PF may also naturally weaken or be under more stress. This is due to hormonal changes in the body associated with being pregnant. The same bodily processes occur as we age and go through menopause!
46% of women have issues with their pelvic floor and 30% of men have these issues but overall, only 1 out of 10 people seek help.
What is a Prolapse?
This is when the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel and prostate/uterus) can press/bulge through, or protrude into, the PF muscles. Experience differs from person to person. Some symptoms associated with a prolapse may include:
- Feeling heaviness in your tummy and inside your vagina
- Feeling or visibly see a lump in/coming out of your vagina
- Problems with urinating
- Discomfort/numbness during sex
However, some people can have a PF prolapse with no symptoms at all. These can be identified through an ultrasound or internal examination.
Factors that can lead to PF dysfunction:
- History of surgery for bladder/bowel problem
- Constipation or being overweight
- Age and gender
Even though some of these are risk factors that may not be present at the moment, everyone should train their pelvic floor. This is more as a prevention as PF dysfunction is associated with decreased quality of life.
- If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please speak to your GP or even one of our friendly staff here at MD Health (you can request specific genders if it makes you more comfortable).
- From there, we can use our Ultrasound to assess you in clinic or refer you onto a Women’s Health Physiotherapist who specialise in pelvic floor.
Do you have any questions?
- Call us on (03) 9857 0644 or (07) 3505 1494 (Paddington)
- Email us at email@example.com
- Check out our other blog posts here
Our clinical staff would be happy to have chat if you have any questions.