The pelvice floor consists of several layers of muscles that cover the bottom of the pelvic cavity.
These muscles have 3 distinct roles:
- To support the pelvic organs, the bladder, uterus and colon within the pelvis.
- To assist in stopping and starting the flow of urine or the passage of gas or stool.
- To aid in sexual appreciation
How do you locate the pelvic floor muscles?
- Insert 1 or 2 fingers into the vagina or place a fingertip on or into the rectal outlet.
- Contract and lift the muscles as though you were holding back gas or a bowel movement.
- You should actually feel the pelvic floor move during these muscle contractions.
So what makes the pelvic floor muscles weak?
- Sustained coughing or sneezing
- Heavy lifting
- Hormones associated with menopause
How does posture affect the pelvic floor?
The way you carry your body all day affects the pelvic floor muscles.
- standing: Keep your knees unlocked, buttocks and abdomen relaxed.
- Sitting: Use proper support for the back. An additional cushion under the thighs keeps pressure off the pelvic floor and buttocks.
- Lying: Elevate the legs on a pillow or two.
How do you prevent stress on the pelvic floor?
As you get ready to lift:
- Bend your knees.
- Gently hold in your stomach muscles.
- pull your vaginal muscles up and in.
- Exhale or breathe out as you lift. (Don't hold your breath!)
- Take your bottom with you!
- Scoot to the edge of the chair.
- Tighten the muscles around your vagina.
- Suck in your lower belly muscles.
- Push off the chair using your leg and arm muscles as you breathe out.