The Pelvic Floor

What is it? 
  The pelvic 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? 
Childbirth
Constipation

Sustained coughing or sneezing 

Heavy lifting 
Obesity

Hormones associated with menopause 
  
   How does posture affect the pelvic floor?
   The way you carry your body all day affects the pelvic floor muscles. 
    Some tips: 
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? 
  Lifting Correctly 
  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!) 
  Moving out of a chair 
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.

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