Pelvic Floor Weakening- A Guide For Women

Pelvic floor weakening or dysfunction is a common situation experienced by various women around the world. If you are facing it too, talk to your doctor and they can help you select the best treatment option suiting your condition.

Pelvic Floor Weakening- A Guide For Women

Many women face the condition where their pelvic floor muscles weaken to cause pain and discomfort. There will be times that they need to carry extra clothes when going out (just in case things get messy), be extremely conscious to not laugh out loud or even cough for that matter. They know it exists but unfortunately, not all of them know the ‘why and how’ related to it. Often inducing a sense of shame or anxiety, pelvic floor weakness is rarely talked about.

Despite all this, pelvic floor musculature is an integral part of our bodies and serves an equally integral set of function. Let us learn more about these muscles, the reasons why they get weak, and how to solve the condition.

What function do the pelvic floor muscles perform?

Pelvic floor muscles are the supportive muscles stretching from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone at the front. They are responsible for:

  • Supporting the pelvic organs – the bladder, bowel, and uterus. They also protect these organs from external damage.
  • A role in sexual function during intercourse.
  • Pelvic floor muscles contract when you cough, laugh or sneeze to prevent urine leakage.
  • They also help prevent leakage and control the passing of bowel and gas motions.

What are the symptoms of pelvic floor weakening?

When pelvic floor weakens, all the above functions get affected and are in jeopardy. As the tension of the pelvic floor muscles loosens, the functions of the internal organs are changed too. Women often face urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in severe cases. They may also find it difficult to contain bowel and gas motions.

With weaker pelvic floor muscles, ordinary movements such as coughing, laughing, or sneezing may invite troubles in the form of urine leakage. Lifting weights and doing physical exercise may stress the pelvic floor more and result in prolapse. Sexual intercourse also becomes painful for women with weak pelvic floor muscles.

The common symptoms of pelvic floor weakening can thus be listed as:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Pressure
  • Feeling a bulge somewhere in the lower pelvic region (prolapse)
  • Stress urinary incontinence
  • involving small amounts of urine leaking
  • Involuntary bowel motions
  • Incomplete urination
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Why do the pelvic floor muscles weaken?

Various reasons contribute to the weakening of pelvic floor muscles. They range from aging, obesity, to injury to the pelvic floor, etc. They are most affected by stress and hormones. The following reasons are the most prevalent ones for pelvic floor weakening.

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Long term constipation
  • Being overweight
  • Long term cough (due to asthma or other respiratory diseases)
  • Repeated heavy lifting at work or the gym
  • Menopause
  • Pelvic surgery or trauma due to injury

What can we do to solve it?

Just like any other muscles in the body, pelvic floor muscles can also be strengthened to function normally. Depending upon the reason for pelvic floor dysfunction, there can be many ways to solve it. The most common solutions are:

· Exercise

Physiotherapy and other pelvic floor muscle exercises can go a long way to help with their strengthening. This is the most preferable treatment option as it focuses on healing and strengthening the muscles naturally. It requires patience and the right guidance. Visit a registered and experienced physiotherapist for the exercises that can help you get the pelvic musculature back to its normal state.

· Medicine

Doctors may suggest you certain medications as an interim relief from pain in case of pelvic muscle injury or prolapse. But this is not a permanent solution and can be followed by either surgery or exercise. Medicines help you have a pain-free experience and can reduce soreness and inflammation if any immediately following trauma.

· Surgery

This is considered as the last resort for treating pelvic floor dysfunction. It is a tricky surgery and must be done when the dysfunction cannot be treated with exercise. It can also be suggested for patients who are above a certain age limit and cannot perform the helpful exercise. Until the pelvic muscle weakening is not curable by physiotherapy, doctors will not recommend opting for surgery.

· Compression clothes

Compression garments can prove to be a gamechanger in case of pelvic muscle dysfunction by providing you with all the support that your pelvic floor needs. They are supportive during exercise and can also be worn for many other occasions suiting your comfort and style.

Pregnant women often face pelvic floor muscle weakening and lower back pain due to the growing tummy. They can benefit from the maternity gym tights or leggings and provide their lower back with the required support. These tights can also be worn after childbirth to help with postpartum pelvic floor weakening.

Conclusion:

Pelvic floor weakening or dysfunction is a common situation experienced by various women around the world. If you are facing it too, talk to your doctor and they can help you select the best treatment option suiting your condition.