Benefits of Exercising Your Pelvic Floor: Sex and Urinary Incontinence

Benefits of Exercising Your Pelvic Floor: Sex and Urinary Incontinence

Are you familiar with your pelvic floor and why it is so important? If not, don't worry because today we will be discussing everything you need to know about this often overlooked set of muscles. More specifically, we will be discussing the vast range of benefits that come from exercising your pelvic floor. From improving your sex life to helping with incontinence and even the effects of menopause, strengthening your pelvic floor can help in many aspects of your health. Join us as we dive deep into the significance of this muscle group and how it can positively influence your health and wellbeing.

What is the Pelvic Floor and Why is it Important?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that run from the pubic bone to the tailbone, creating a "hammock" below the pelvis. These muscles support your pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Additionally, they play a vital role in controlling urine and feces. As you can see, a healthy pelvic floor is essential for maintaining proper bodily functions and avoiding issues such as incontinence. However, due to factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and certain medical conditions, this area can become weakened and cause problems. This is where pelvic floor exercises come in handy.

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, involve contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. These exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, improve bladder and bowel control, and even enhance sexual function. It is important to note that pelvic floor exercises should be done correctly to be effective. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or pelvic floor physical therapist to learn how to properly perform these exercises.

How Exercising Your Pelvic Floor Can Improve Your Sex Life

Did you know that having a strong pelvic floor can actually improve your sex life? It's true! These muscles play a crucial role in sexual sensation and orgasm for both men and women. In women, strong pelvic floor muscles can increase vaginal lubrication, tightness, and enhance their ability to reach orgasm. In men, pelvic floor exercises can help with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and even increase the intensity of orgasm. So not only can exercising your pelvic floor improve your overall health, but it can also amp up your sex life too!

But how exactly do you exercise your pelvic floor muscles? One common exercise is called a Kegel, where you contract and relax the muscles that control urine flow. Another exercise is using a pelvic floor muscle trainer, which can provide biofeedback to help you target and strengthen the correct muscles. It's important to note that like any muscle, it takes time and consistency to see results, but the benefits are worth it!

Additionally, pelvic floor exercises aren't just for those looking to improve their sex life. They can also help prevent and treat urinary incontinence, especially in women who have given birth or are going through menopause. Pelvic floor exercises can also improve posture, support the organs in the pelvic area, and even reduce lower back pain. So whether you're looking to spice up your sex life or improve your overall health, incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your routine can have a positive impact on your body and well-being.

Pregnancy and Childbirth: How Pelvic Floor Exercises Can Help

Pregnancy and childbirth put a significant strain on the pelvic floor muscles. In fact, around half of all women experience some form of pelvic floor dysfunction during or after pregnancy. However, regular pelvic floor exercises during and after pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of these issues. Strengthening these muscles can also help with the birthing process by increasing control during pushing and reducing the likelihood of tearing.

Aside from reducing the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction and aiding in the birthing process, pelvic floor exercises can also improve sexual function and prevent urinary incontinence. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. They can be done discreetly at any time, and it is recommended to start practicing them during pregnancy and continue after childbirth.

It is important to note that pelvic floor exercises should be done correctly to avoid further damage or strain. It is recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or midwife, to ensure proper technique and avoid any potential complications. With consistent practice and guidance, pelvic floor exercises can be a valuable tool in promoting overall pelvic health during and after pregnancy.

The Link Between Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Muscles

Incontinence, or the inability to control bladder or bowel movements, is a common issue that affects millions of men and women worldwide. Thankfully, this problem can often be improved by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through exercises such as Kegels. By doing so, you can increase your muscle tone and better control urine and bowel movements, thus reducing the symptoms of incontinence and improving your quality of life.

It is important to note that incontinence can have various causes, including pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, prostate surgery, and neurological disorders. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of your incontinence and develop an appropriate treatment plan. In addition to pelvic floor exercises, treatment options may include medication, surgery, or lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications and bladder training.

Top Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Now that you understand the importance of pelvic floor exercises, you may be wondering which exercises are the most effective. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises to choose from, such as Kegels and reverse Kegels, pelvic bridges, and squats. To perform Kegels, simply tighten your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine and hold for several seconds before releasing. Repeat this exercise several times a day, increasing the duration of the hold over time.

In addition to these exercises, yoga and Pilates can also be effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Certain yoga poses, such as the bridge pose and the eagle pose, can help to engage and strengthen the pelvic floor. Pilates exercises, such as the pelvic curl and the hundred, can also target these muscles. It's important to find a routine that works for you and to stick with it consistently in order to see results.

How Often Should You Exercise Your Pelvic Floor?

It's essential to exercise your pelvic floor regularly to see the most significant benefits. Aim to perform your exercises at least 3 times a day for about 10-15 minutes each time. Consistency is key when it comes to strengthening your pelvic floor, so try to make these exercises a regular part of your routine.

However, it's important to note that over-exercising your pelvic floor can also lead to negative effects. If you experience any discomfort or pain during your exercises, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you're performing them correctly and not causing any harm.

In addition to regular pelvic floor exercises, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also contribute to pelvic floor health. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding smoking can all help support the strength and function of your pelvic floor muscles.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Exercising Your Pelvic Floor

When it comes to pelvic floor exercises, there are several mistakes that people often make. One of the most common mistakes is holding your breath while doing these exercises. This can actually increase the pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and make the exercises less effective. Additionally, make sure you are isolating and activating the correct muscles, and avoid over-exerting yourself by doing too many repetitions too quickly.

Another common mistake is not maintaining proper form during pelvic floor exercises. It's important to keep your spine in a neutral position and avoid arching your back or tucking your pelvis. This will ensure that you are targeting the correct muscles and avoiding strain on other areas of your body.

It's also important to remember that pelvic floor exercises are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your individual needs and goals, you may need to modify the exercises or seek guidance from a healthcare professional. Additionally, it's important to be patient and consistent with your exercises, as it may take several weeks or even months to see significant improvements in pelvic floor strength and function.

Using Kegel Balls for Better Pelvic Floor Health

If you're looking to add some extra oomph to your pelvic floor exercises, consider incorporating Kegel balls into your routine. These small weighted balls are inserted into the vagina and work by adding resistance to your Kegel exercises. This extra resistance can help to further strengthen your muscles and improve overall pelvic floor health. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before trying Kegel balls.

One of the benefits of using Kegel balls is that they can help with incontinence issues. Incontinence is a common problem for many women, especially after childbirth or as they age. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel balls, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate incontinence symptoms.

It's important to note that Kegel balls come in different weights, so it's important to start with a lighter weight and gradually work your way up. Using a weight that is too heavy can cause discomfort or even injury. Additionally, it's important to clean the Kegel balls thoroughly before and after each use to prevent infection.

Combining Yoga and Pelvic Floor Exercises for Maximum Benefits

Yoga is an excellent way to improve flexibility, increase muscle tone, and reduce stress levels, making it a perfect complement to pelvic floor exercises. Specific yoga poses, such as child's pose, reclined bound angle pose, and downward-facing dog, can help to target the pelvic floor muscles and increase their strength. Combining yoga with pelvic floor exercises can help to maximize your benefits and promote overall health and wellness.

In addition to improving flexibility and muscle tone, practicing yoga can also help to improve your balance and coordination. This can be especially beneficial for those who have weakened pelvic floor muscles, as it can help to prevent falls and other accidents that could further damage the pelvic floor.

Furthermore, incorporating mindfulness and breathing techniques into your yoga practice can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can also have a positive impact on your pelvic floor health. Stress and anxiety can cause tension in the pelvic floor muscles, leading to pain and discomfort. By practicing yoga and pelvic floor exercises together, you can address both the physical and emotional aspects of pelvic floor health.

The Impact of Menopause on the Pelvic Floor and How to Address It

Menopause can bring about many changes in the body, including changes in the pelvic floor muscles. Due to the decrease in estrogen levels, the pelvic floor muscles can become weakened and lead to issues such as incontinence, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse. However, pelvic floor exercises can help to combat these symptoms by increasing muscle tone and improving overall health of the pelvic floor.

In addition to pelvic floor exercises, there are other ways to address the impact of menopause on the pelvic floor. One option is hormone replacement therapy, which can help to increase estrogen levels and improve the health of the pelvic floor muscles. Another option is to use vaginal moisturizers or lubricants to combat vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the best options for you and your individual needs.

Other Ways to Promote a Healthy Pelvic Floor Beyond Exercise

While exercise is one of the most effective ways to strengthen and improve the health of your pelvic floor, there are other lifestyle choices you can make to support this area. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding constipation, and maintaining a healthy weight can all help to alleviate strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, consider reducing your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as these substances can irritate the bladder and worsen incontinence symptoms.

In conclusion, the benefits of exercising your pelvic floor are extensive, and it's never too early or late to start incorporating these exercises into your daily routine. Whether you're looking to improve your sex life, reduce incontinence symptoms, or simply promote overall health and wellness, strengthening your pelvic floor is a great place to start. So go ahead, try out these exercises, and discover the many benefits of a healthier pelvic floor!

Another way to promote a healthy pelvic floor is to practice good posture. When you slouch or hunch over, you put unnecessary pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to weakness and dysfunction over time. By sitting and standing up straight, you can help to distribute your body weight evenly and reduce strain on your pelvic floor. Additionally, taking breaks from sitting for extended periods of time can also help to alleviate pressure on this area.

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