What is the pelvic floor?

Many people are getting more aware that we all (yes men, you too) have this thing called a ‘Pelvic Floor’, but where is it? What does it do? Why do we get so many issues because of it? Well read on. Apologies fellas, this one is more focused towards your better half...

Imagine that your torso is a cylinder filled with heavy water balloons. These water balloons are your organs such as your bladder, uterus and bowel. The ‘Pelvic Floor’ are a group of muscles that sit at the bottom of the cylinder and hold all your water balloons inside where they are meant to be. 

Did you know that 60% of our body weight rests on your Pelvic Floor? And whenever you add weights while exercising, lift a baby/child/anything, this adds to the weight your Pelvic Floor has to support. 

But why do we have issues with the Pelvic Floor? The downfall of these wonderful muscles are that they form a “U” shape, so our urethra (where your wees come out), our vaginas (babies!) and our anus (poos) all have to pass through and need the space to do so. In turn, this leaves part of the bottom of our cylinder open and susceptible to vulnerabilities. 

How does pregnancy impact the pelvic floor? Well the added weight of your growing uterus (& those few extra cupcakes!) while pregnant places increased strain on the pelvic floor, making it more and more exhausted the bigger you get. Even if you end up with a pre-term baby, or birth via a c-section, your muscles have run a marathon and need some special attention afterwards. 

What does childbirth do to the pelvic floor? In some cases, childbirth can actually cause trauma and damage to these muscles, causing your “U” shape to be even wider with an even bigger gap. This means your water balloons are more likely to fall down, which is exactly how “Prolapse” can happen. 

If you haven’t ever had a baby, you can still have pelvic floor issues if you have had chronic coughing, chronic constipation, repetitive heavy lifting, or if you are post-menopausal or overweight.  

Think your Pelvic Floor might need some rehab? Well the good news is that EP Physio Plus has a Physio with a special interest in all things Women’s Health who can assess and help you manage your symptoms before anything worsens. Simply go online to book with Jess, or give us a call on 8682 6665.

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