The pelvic floor is the name of the group of muscles that support your pelvic organs at the bottom of your pelvis. Although showing some anatomical differences between genders, these muscles exist in both women and men and are responsible for the control of your bladder and bowel.
In men, these muscles are also important for erectile function and ejaculation. In women, the pelvic floor contributes to sexual arousal, supports the baby during pregnancy, assists the birthing process and is also linked to orgasm.
The pelvic floor is like a hammock that supports the pelvic organs in the pelvis (bladder, uterus and rectum). When working normally, they relax to allow urination, bowel movements and, in women, intercourse. When they contract, they close the urethra and the anus, stopping urine and faeces from exiting.
Pelvic floor dysfunctions can result from:
- Over activity
- Lack of coordination
- Birthing trauma
- Side effects of surgery in the pelvic region
Pelvic floor symptoms might present as one or more of the following:
- Leaking while coughing, laughing or during activities
- Sudden urges or having to rush to the bathroom
- Frequently having to visit the bathroom
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Painful urination
- Ongoing pain in your pelvic floor region, genitals, or rectum
- Feeling heaviness or a bulging in the vaginal region
- Pain in your lower back that cannot be explained by other causes
- Pain during intercourse
- Reduced sensation during intercourse
- Feeling that you have several bowel movements during a short period of time or you cannot complete a bowel movement.
- Constipation or regular straining
Due to the multi factorial nature of pelvic floor dysfunctions, treatment for these conditions should widely differ person to person.
Pelvic floor or Women’s Health physiotherapists are trained specifically to assess, diagnose and treat pelvic floor dysfunction. While in some cases your pelvic floor muscles may need to be strengthened, other times you may need to learn how to relax them or retrain your bladder.
Get an individual assessment today and get your life back on track. Phone 9968 3424 to book.