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As many as one in three women will experience pelvic floor dysfunction at some point in her life.
Ever found yourself in the middle of yoga class, suddenly having to go to the bathroom and not quite sure if you kept it all in? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. FYI, pelvic floor dysfunction is much more common than you might think — according to statistics, one in three women will suffer from some type of pelvic floor dysfunction at some point in their lives.
Wondering why a strong pelvic floor is important? A study published in the International Journal of Urogynecology found that women with strong pelvic floor muscles reported better orgasms and more arousal. Those with a weaker pelvic floor found that their feeling and satisfaction may be reduced.
Do you have children or an expectant mother? A separate study from Marmara University in Istanbul found that sexual arousal, lubrication and orgasm were higher in women who did pelvic floor exercises after childbirth than in women who didn’t.
Experts also believe that stronger muscles mean increased sensitivity when you have sex. Tania Boler, founder of Elvie, a training device linked in real time to an app to help women with Kegel exercises, says that ultimately “a strong pelvic floor means increased blood flow to this region, your muscles tighten and the end result is an increased sense of pleasure.” ‘
Want to learn more about the major signs of pelvic floor dysfunction and how to treat them? Keep scrolling.
So, what is your pelvic floor?
“Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that stretch from the pubic bone in the front of your body to the coccyx — aka your tailbone — at the back,” explains Alison Wright, a gynecologist and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians. gynecologists.
Still not sure what it is or how it works exactly? So, if you can stop your wee mid-flow, that’s your pelvic floor working and, also, if you hold the wind at an inopportune time (…we’ve all been there), that’s your pelvic floor too .
Bella Smith, general practitioner and women’s health specialist at The headquarters of the well, agrees, adding that the muscles act almost like a hammock, supporting your organs as well as your bladder, uterus, and intestines.
What does your pelvic floor do?
According to Smith, three things.
It keeps you dry
“It holds the weight of your bowel, bladder, and uterus and should keep you dry,” she explains.
It allows you to pee
That is, when it relaxes when you try to go to the toilet. “This means you can completely empty your bladder and bowels,” she continues.
It can help with sexual pleasure
Although this is not yet fully understood, experts believe that a good pelvic floor can also help with a good sex life, the expert adds. Read our guides to the best sex toys, sex positions, and tantric sex moves while you’re here.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Interestingly, pelvic floor dysfunction may simply be genetic. A 2009 study found evidence for a gene that predisposes to pelvic floor problems, such as stress urinary incontinence, while pregnancy and childbirth also play a critical role.
“The weight of the baby rests on your pelvic floor muscles and that has an impact after delivery, even if you have a caesarean section,” says women’s physiotherapist and pelvic floor specialist Louise Rahmanou. “High-impact sports like running, jumping, and strength training can cause muscles to weaken,” says Rahmanou.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: 5 Common Types
1. Stress Incontinence
As mentioned above, the most common problems are urinary stress incontinence. According to the NHS, stress incontinence is the term used to refer to urine that leaks at times when your bladder is under pressure – think laughing or coughing.
2. Urgent Incontinence
On the other hand, urge incontinence is also common. Smith explains it as an irresistible urge to empty your bladder or bowel.
3. Painful Sex
If you’ve ever had painful sex, you may have pelvic floor dysfunction where your pelvic floor is too tight. “This can make any kind of penetration painful,” Smith says.
4. Painful Pap Smears
Likewise, if you experience severe painful Pap smear, you may have a similar type of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Ever heard of vaginal prolapse? It’s a type of pelvic floor dysfunction where your vaginal wall can no longer pierce the weight of what’s above it, explains Smith.
Make sure to seek medical attention if you are in any doubt about experiencing any of the above.