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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Bush

Importance of Pelvic Health: What Is It & How Do You Know It’s in Trouble?

What is ‘pelvic health’? To keep it simple, good pelvic health is to have a happy healthy pelvis as the connector between the trunk and lower body. When we think of ‘pelvic health’, most often, it is synonymous with the pelvic floor or “Kegel” muscles. The pelvic floor muscles have four major roles: sexual function and arousal, to support the pelvic organs including the bladder, uterus and rectum, to prevent urinary and fecal leakage, and to coordinate synergistically with the other core muscles for a strong healthy back, pelvic girdle and core!

What are signs that your pelvic floor muscles are not working as effectively as they should be to promote good pelvic health? Do you ever pee or leak when you cough, sneeze or laugh, during exercise, during sex, or with a strong urge? Do you have pain with sex or difficulty enjoying sexual intimacy? Do you suffer from lower back, pelvic or hip pain? Do you feel like your bladder is going to fall out?! If you answer yes to any of these, then there is a good chance your pelvic health is in trouble!

The benefits of a well-functioning pelvic floor and happy healthy pelvis include: increased blood flow to the vulva, vagina, perineum and rectum, better bladder and bowel control, decreased urinary incontinence, improved bowel health and less constipation, improved sexual function, arousal and orgasm, increased support to the pelvic and abdominal organs, a stronger core in general and during pregnancy and postpartum, and prevention and reduction of low back and pelvic girdle pain in general and during pregnancy and postpartum.

You should be able to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles in various positions, during different functional activities, and anytime anywhere throughout the day. You may be asking yourself, “Do I know how to do a pelvic floor muscle contraction or ‘Kegel’? A correct contraction of the pelvic floor muscles is a “squeeze and lift up and in” of the vaginal and rectal muscles, as if you are closing the vagina and anus & imagining that you are trying not to not pee or pass gas.

I am a believer in that a Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist should play an integral part, as well as, be a member of every woman’s health and wellness professional team throughout the female lifespan!

What are the benefits of pelvic health physical therapy and wellness, you ask? *Decreased back, hip and pelvic pain

*Decreased urinary and fecal incontinence

*Decreased painful sex

*Back, hip, and pelvic mobility *Pelvic floor and abdominal muscle tissue mobility and function

*Core, back and hip strength and conditioning

*Manage the forever changing maternal body and posture during pregnancy *Exercise recommendations and guidelines during pregnancy and postpartum

*Education on perineal tissue mobility and pelvic floor muscle relaxation, during pregnancy to decrease risk of severity of perineal tissue tearing

*Exercises to facilitate opening of the pelvic inlet during active labor as baby transitions through the vaginal canal, and of pelvic outlet for childbirth

*Practice of childbirth delivery positions to reduce stress and strain to the back, hips and pelvis, especially if pain is present, as well as, decrease risk of severity of perineal tissue tearing *Early postpartum tips to promote abdominal, pelvic and perineal muscle and tissue healing post vaginal or cesarian deliveries *Provide guidance on and progression of postpartum recovery and exercise

*Provide education and exercise to navigate pelvic floor, vaginal tissue and physical changes associated with peri- and post-menopause

I would love to answer any questions you may have! Schedule a free discovery call today!

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