It’s no secret that the mind and body are intimately connected.
The pelvic floor and the mind is no different.
Studies show that postpartum women who are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction are more likely to experience postpartum depression and anxiety.
Now does that mean that pelvic floor dysfunction causes postpartum depression or anxiety? No of course not. And does that mean you can’t have postpartum depression or anxiety without also having pelvic floor dysfunction and vice versa? Again no.
There is something to be said about how physical health can affect mental health. There is also something to be said about mental health and stress and that effect it has on pelvic floor tightness and tension.
Let’s address how physical pelvic floor challenges can affect mental health first.
If a postpartum woman is experiencing any sort of pelvic pain that makes it harder to do the things that she wants and needs to do within her daily roles, that is definitely going to affect mental health. This can look like difficulty sitting down in a position to nurse. It may also look like difficulty standing with cooking because of back or pelvic pain, or soreness when baby is resting in pubic bone when nursing and so forth.
Similarly, other pelvic floor issues such as incontinence or pain with sex can affect her confidence when completing some day to day activities and/or connection with her partner. These scenarios would also affect her health mentally because she is unable to fulfill roles that are important to her.
Next let’s talk about how mental health can also affect pelvic health.
If you are experiencing stress, anxiety and/or depression, your pain receptors are going to be heightened or more sensitive and in turn you may experience increased pain within the pelvic floor and surrounding areas.
Stress, anxiety and depression can also increase tension throughout the body which can increase pelvic floor tightness potentially causing issues such as: pain with intercourse or tampon insertion, constipation or incontinence.
So you see the mind and body are completely intertwined. How you feel physically affects how you feel mentally and vice versa.
If you are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction and it’s affecting your ability to do things you want and need to do, please reach out for a free consultation so we can see where we can provide additional support.