When it comes to your health, one of the most overlooked areas of the body is essential to daily functions and ultimately enhances our quality of life. What is it, you ask? Your Pelvic Floor!
The pelvic floor is a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and nerves that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. The functionality of this network is essential for maintaining urinary and bowel control, sexual function, prenatal health, labor, birth, postpartum recovery, and more.
Unfortunately, it’s often only when people start experiencing problems that they become aware of pelvic floor health’s importance.
Pelvic floor issues are common and can represent the areas of our lives that many people may be uncomfortable discussing. Conditions might include consistent low back pain, hip imbalances, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, abdominal separation, sexual dysfunction, or problems related to birth and postpartum recovery. Many times women are told, this is just you getting older. I am here to tell you no! It’s just a part of the body we have failed to teach you existed!
To keep your pelvic floor healthy, here are some things to remember.
- One of the most important things you can do to promote pelvic floor health is to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of pelvic floor problems by putting additional pressure on the pelvic organs and weakening the pelvic floor muscles. Regular exercise, including pelvic floor muscle exercises, can help strengthen the pelvic floor and reduce the risk of these symptoms. You can start assisting with this by committing to walking 5-10 per day. Being consistent far outweighs one big walk time a week. Another action step is eliminating wheat (gluten), as this affects your weight and can cause chronic constipation, which is our number two issue. (see what I did there). I have a whole blog that breaks this down, Click here to read Why You Should Ditch Gluten!
- Another essential factor in pelvic floor health is good bowel habits. Chronic constipation can cause straining during bowel movements, weakening the pelvic floor muscles over time. Eating a healthy, high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and elevating your feet with support while using the bathroom can help prevent constipation and promote healthy bowel habits. If you need help in this department, I have two options to help get this colon moving naturally.
- Pregnancy and childbirth can also take a toll on the pelvic floor, especially if you have had a c-section. But women can take steps to minimize the risk of pelvic floor disorders. Prenatal exercises, such as yoga or pelvic floor muscle training, can help prepare the pelvic floor for the demands of childbirth. During labor and delivery, techniques such as perineal massage, warm compresses, and avoiding unnecessary interventions can help reduce the risk of pelvic floor injury.
Truly, pelvic floor health is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being.