If you read this title and wondered “What is the pelvic floor? Where is it? What does it even do?”, you are not alone! I recently asked several of my friends what they thought of when they heard the words “pelvic floor”. I wanted to know what the average woman knew about the muscles that play such an important role in their everyday lives. Here are a couple of their answers: “No idea about any of that” “I have no idea what a pelvic floor is” “I think of Elvis. People always talked about his pelvis”. Yes it is true, Elvis had a pelvic floor, but you do too and I think it is time the two of you are formally introduced.
What is the Pelvic floor?
So what is the pelvic floor anyway? The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that are located on the bottom of the pelvic bone. They form a bowl shape by attaching to various points on the pelvis. They are constantly working (sometimes too much) to provide your body with the stability it needs to complete activities in your life that you want and need to do. Who has a pelvic floor you ask? Anyone with a pelvis: Women, men, children, etc. The pelvic floor has a lot of jobs and functions that it is responsible for. This is great if it is functioning how it should, but since it has so many roles, things can go south pretty quickly if the pelvic floor is unable to function optimally.
What does the pelvic floor do?
The pelvic floor has so many different functions that are integral to our everyday life. Pelvic Floor functions are often described as the 5 S’s including:
Support-- the pelvic floor is kind of like the bra of your pelvis. Just like a bra helps to lift “the girls”, the pelvic floor helps to lift organs such as your bladder, vagina, and rectum. Decreased pelvic floor muscles can cause prolapse of any of these organs. (It sounds scarier than it is!)
Sphincteric-- the muscles of the pelvic floor wrap around the various openings of the pelvis and prevent pee and poop from coming out until you want them to. Decreased pelvic floor muscles can cause leakage from bowels and/or bladder. On the other hand, if they openings are closed too tightly, this can cause other issues, such as constipation
Sexual--the pelvic floor muscles are responsible for getting and keeping an erection. Yes, women get erections too, it just looks a little different than our guy counterparts. Good pelvic floor function is responsible for orgasms, so next time you get the “big O”, you should give a shout out to your pelvic floor. Pain with sex could be an indication that your pelvic floor muscles are too tight.
Stability-- The pelvic floor muscles act as the bottom of the abdominal region. They are an important, and often ignored, part of your core. If you have a toned abdomen, but decreased pelvic floor strength, you will still struggle with core related movements including stability and balance.
Sump Pump-- the pelvic floor muscles help to pump blood and lymphatic fluid away from the pelvis. Difficulty with this area of pelvic floor function can cause pelvic congestion and swelling, which I can imagine is as uncomfortable as it sounds.
In addition to the 5 S’s, the Pelvic floor is also responsible for posture and breathing.
As you can see, the pelvic floor is responsible for a lot! That means when something is not working as optimally as it should, your life is greatly impacted. Book a FREE discovery call today if you want to make sure your pelvic floor is supporting you like it needs to!