What is the pelvic floor?
The Pelvic Floor is a complex web of muscle, connective tissue, and fibrous material. It sits on the outside and the inside of your pelvis and supports the 3 muscles of your pelvis – your bladder, uterus, and bowel. You have a deep layer and a superficial layer of your pelvic floor. It has an important role in your continence as well as urination and defecation. The pelvic floor needs to be able to CONTRACT to keep control of your urine, faecal matter, and wind, but also needs to be able to RELAX to allow you to fully empty your bladder and bowel, comfortable vaginal penetration and allow you to birth a baby vaginally.
What is pelvic floor muscle training?
The pelvic floor is just like any muscle of the body where it can be improved. Depending on your symptoms, you may need to work on activation, relaxation, motor control, coordination, strength, endurance, or a combination of these! Every pelvic floor muscle training program needs to be specific and individualised to you, your symptoms, and your goals.
How do I know if I am doing my pelvic floor exercises correctly?
1 in 3 females will do their pelvic floor squeeze INCORRECT with only hearing verbal instructions. To know if you are doing your squeezes correctly, it is important to have an assessment by a trained women’s health physiotherapist to determine how strong your squeeze is, how coordinated it is and if you are squeezing right.
Article written and supplied by Physiotherapist Shanice Gabriel, B. Pthy (Physiotherapy), APPI Pilates Clinician.
Shanice is a Physiotherapist who specialises in Women’s Health and Pilates. She takes our Physiotherapy for Pregnancy Class here at Dr Morris | Sydney Mother & Baby, which is held once a month here at the practice. Please enquire at reception if you wish to book a place in one on our antenatal classes. We are more than happy to help with arranging an appointment if you prefer a one on one session, and our experienced midwifery team can help guide you if you are unsure.
Beautiful illustration credit: @kataillustration