When it comes to strengthening, the pelvic floor probably isn’t at the topic of your list when you hit the gym. However, it’s an important part of the body that women, especially those who’ve given birth, need to know more. Unfortunately, it’s a topic that’s not often discussed.
“I think it’s because some people don’t realize they have an issue, and also they think they just have to live with it,” says Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, M.D.
So what exactly is the pelvic floor? Basically, it consists of a group of strong muscles that start at the front of the pelvis and cover up the back to the tailbone. They act as a harness to support the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum.
“Although it is not inevitable to have a weakened pelvic floor, many things like childbirth, surgeries, and even obesity can weaken the pelvic floor by putting significant pressure and or have trauma, like childbirth, in this area,” says Dr. Agarwal. “If we do not strengthen these muscles we have problems like urinary leakage, prolapse, or coming out, of certain organs, or pain in the vaginal canal because of lack of support from the muscles.”
You realize you might have a weakened pelvic floor. Now what? Recognizing the problem is half the battle. Now, you have to learn how to strengthen those weakened muscles.