May 3, 2020

Pelvic floor muscles and pelvic floor muscle exercises

Don't be afraid.
Be focused.
Be determined.
Be hopeful.
Be empowered. - Michelle Obama

For some inexplicable reason, the pelvic floor is a part of our body about which we rarely, if ever, get any information.
Sometimes it even seems that those pages were forgotten in the anatomy atlas. As if our upper body passes into our lower body, without there being a bottom.

Time to provide better information. We would like to further explain The Pelvic Floor.

The pelvic floor

Imagine the pelvic floor as a kind of hammock or trampoline at the bottom of your body.
It consists of muscle and support tissue and also contains nerves and blood vessels.
Three openings pass through it for the urethra, the vagina and the rectum.

The function of the pelvic floor

Holding and releasing urine, stool and wind.
Supporting the organs in the small pelvis: bladder, uterus and rectum.
Contributing to sexual function (enabling sexual intercourse and playing a role in building up and sustaining orgasm)
Contributing to your core stability. They belong to the central muscle corset of your body, together with your abdominal, back, hip and buttock muscles.

The pelvic floor muscles

Run from the pubic bone to the coccyx and from one ischium to the other.
You can consciously stretch and relax them.
When you tighten them, it is as if you are squeezing them and lifting them upwards; when you relax them, you can feel them being released.
They consist of different muscle fibre types: both for long endurance and short power efforts.

The link between pelvic floor complaints and pelvic floor muscles

This connection is not the same for every woman!

Some women have an overly tight pelvic floor, while others lack muscle strength or need to build up their basic tension.
Some women have perfect muscles, but may use them with bad timing or less control.
Pregnancy and childbirth can weaken, damage or misuse the muscles.

Pelvic floor muscle exercises

To prevent complaints and to keep a healthy pelvic floor OR to reduce complaints and let the muscles do their work better again.

Tense your pelvic floor muscles as if you were holding back a breeze or a puddle."
"Try to feel an inward and outward movement of the vagina. Or pretend you would pick up a blueberry with your vagina and pull it in."

As a basic exercise, it is good to tighten up SHORTLY and POWERFULLY (takes 2-3 seconds) and to release calmly and completely (takes 4 seconds).
To really build up the strength, we recommend repeating this 8 times. And do three series a day.
You can watch yourself with a mirror, or feel with your finger. Additional tips from a pelvic floor physiotherapist can also help. We can check if you are doing it right, give you other tips, trics and advice , etc.

But every woman is truly unique!

Depending on your complaints and your muscles, the exercises should be adapted accordingly. Were your muscles weakened before? Or do you have too strong a basic tension? Or did you perhaps not use your muscles optimally?
The way you breathe, your muscle control, your timing and your basic tension during daily activities and sports can also play a role!
After a good pelvic floor examination, this can quickly become clear. We will be happy to refer you to a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

CONCLUSION: "Everything starts with a good explanation."

This informative blog briefly explains where you can find your pelvic floor. And how it feels when you tense those muscles. That is a good start.
A good basic exercise, paying enough attention to the ON and OFF tension of the muscles, will certainly not hurt you!

Practice makes perfect.

Hedwig Neels

I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand. - Confucius

Additional information on exercises can also be found at the following link.


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