Introduction to Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is nothing but a sheet made up of muscles that demarcate the pelvic cavity. This pelvic cavity is where the intestines, bladder, and uterus (for women) are enclosed. A difference between the pelvic cavity of the males and females is that the pelvic cavity of the womenfolk is a bit large since the birth canal has to be accommodated.
Usually, the pelvic floor term itself is used in relation to the feminine sex. But males too have it as well. The muscles of the pelvic floor have the following functions.
- Help with childbirth, sex-related activates, and defecation.
- Maintain control over the discharge of feces and urine.
- They also provide support to the pelvic and abdominal viscera.
There are even specific exercises for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles which are known as the Kegel exercises. Let’s talk about them a bit.
The basics of these muscle group exercises are as simple as other exercises. The main aim of them is to relax and contract your pelvic floor muscles. The question you might be asking is why do I need to strengthen my pelvic muscles? Well, your pelvic muscles could have gotten weaker because of any of the following things.
- You might have become overweight
- Continuous coughing
- Strain due to suffering from chronic constipation
- Birth of a child
There might be other reasons as well. But as a woman, it's best for you that you do these exercises so that your pelvic muscles stay strong. In case your pelvic floor muscles have gotten very weak, then you should speak with your nearest doctor and ask him/her to schedule a pelvic floor surgery.
Pelvic Floor Anatomy
The floor itself is shaped like a funnel. The three major portions of the pelvic floor are
- Muscle coverings called Fascia coverings
- A muscle known as Coccygeus
- Muscle group Levator ani
Interestingly enough, the pelvic floor has two gaps or ‘holes’ by which the vagina, urethra, and anal canal pass through.
Sex and The Pelvic Floor
Yes, you read it right. The pelvic Floor does play some role while women have sex. In fact, some of them have even said that their sex life has dramatically improved after they had learned to take control of their pelvic muscles in particular.
Having stronger pelvic muscles also means that the woman in question will suffer less amount of pain than before. There is also something known as pelvic floor therapy (physical) to make your pelvic muscles stronger.
But we would recommend you the Kegel exercises which we have talked about before in this article. They are far better and easier to do than this therapy which involves measurements using equipment as well.
What Can I Do To Keep My Pelvic Floor In Pristine Condition Besides Kegel Exercises?
This is in fact a great question. We would like to suggest some tips for you which you can follow to make sure that your pelvic floor stays in great condition. Here are they.
- Make sure that your body weight is within a healthy limit
As we have discussed above, getting overweight is also one of the reasons why your muscles in the pelvic region might get weaker. Hence, maintaining a healthy weight is the best thing that you can do to avoid this.
If you do happen to be overweight, then there is nothing to worry about. You can easily lose weight by doing regular exercise and by intaking a controlled and disciplined diet. There are a lot of diets that are available in the market that you can follow to lose weight.
- Lift things that are heavy in a proper manner
Lifting things in an improper manner is yet another cause for the weakening of these muscles. If you can, then try to avoid lifting heavy weights and in case you can't avoid it, try to make use of a proper posture which is recommended for the least amount of strain on our body.
You need to take care of this every time that you go ahead to lift something. Since the results from the pelvic health point of view are quite disastrous if you fail to do so.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food
As we have told you before, constipation is also a factor in the weakening of the muscles of this region. Hence, it is highly recommended that you eat and consume food that is rich in fiber content so that you don’t have to deal with constipation and in turn, weaker pelvic muscles.
- Other Exercises Than Kegel Are Also Helpful
You can also do some core strengthening exercises since the pelvis itself is part of the core. Things like squats, Pilates, and Yoga can greatly help you in this. Vaginal weights are useful too.