The Most Important Muscle You Forget To Work Out: Fixing Your Pelvic Floor

Fixing your pelvic floor | Miami Center of Excellence

Keep your pelvic floor strong and healthy

We hit the gym to work out our bodies and our minds. While you might notice your biceps getting bigger and your waist getting smaller, many women are forgetting about one of the most important muscle structures in their body — the pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor muscles are located between the tailbone and the pubic bone within the pelvis, and support the bowel and bladder along with the uterus and vagina. The muscular bands encircle the urethra, vagina, and anus as they pass through the pelvic floor. When the pelvic floor muscles are contracted, the internal organs are lifted and the sphincters tighten the openings of the vagina, anus, and urethra. Relaxing the pelvic floor allows you to empty your bladder and your bowels. If those muscles are weakened, it’s difficult to support those organs and you may not be able to control your urine, feces, or gas. So, you can see why keeping your floor strong is very important. This week we discuss the causes, problems, and fixes associated with a weakening pelvic floor.

Why You May Have A Weak Pelvic Floor

Having a weak pelvic floor is common amongst women of all backgrounds. Some may have a genetic disposition to a weakened pelvis, but for most women, it’s a situational issue. So, what are some things that cause the weakening of your pelvic floor muscles?

  • Pregnancy and childbirth. Women who have had multiple births, births where forceps or ventouse were used, women who had severe perineal tearing, or have had babies over 8.5lbs (4kg).
  • Straining on the toilet. Those with chronic constipation often have pelvic floor weakness and/or prolapse of the organs into the vagina.
  • Chronic Cough. If you have an ongoing cough for any reason (asthma, chronic bronchitis, smoker’s cough, etc.) you have an increased risk of urinary incontinence and prolapse.
  • Heavy lifting. This can create pressure on your pelvic floor.
  • Age. Your pelvic floor muscles tend to get weaker as we get older.
  • Obesity. Being overweight increases the risk of leaking urine and may place greater strain on the pelvic floor.

Problems Associated With A Weak Pelvic Floor

Though there are contraptions and short-term fixes for those that suffer from a weakened pelvic floor, the overall problems that are associated with the condition increase over time without proper care. Some of those issues include:

  • Weakened bladder and bowel control
  • Higher risk of prolapse. (This can be felt as pulling, dropping, or a bulge in the vagina with an overall feeling of heaviness.)
  • Decreased sexual sensation
  • Longer postpartum recovery

Exercises To Keep You Strong

Prevention is the best way to keep a strong pelvic floor, but if you’re noticing any of the above symptoms, it’s best to start your exercises and do them consistently for the best results possible.

  • Stopping The Flow. This is the most common pelvic floor exercise. Even though it’s “technically” not an exercise, it’s the best way to determine the correct muscles to exercises. To do this, stop the flow of urine repeatedly while emptying your bladder. Over time it will be easier to identify your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Visualization. This exercise can be done sitting, lying down, or standing with legs about shoulder width apart.
    • Relax the muscles of your thighs, bottom, and tummy
    • Squeeze the muscles around the vagina and bottom. Try to “suck” them upwards inside the pelvis.
    • Hold for 3 seconds, release.
    • Repeat 10x/day. As you get stronger, increase the time spent squeezing and/or your daily repetitions.
  • Bridge. Strengthen your pelvic floor and give your booty a nice lift. How-to bridge:
    • Lying on your back, bending your knees with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Keep your arms to the side, palms up.
    • Contract your bottom and pelvic floor, lifting the butt several inches off the ground. Hold this position for 5-10 second.
    • Relax the bottom and pelvic floor and slowly lower yourself to the floor.
    • Repeat 10x and perform 2 additional sets.
  • Squat it out. Squats will give you a strong pelvic floor and work your core.
    • Stand with feet hip-width apart. (Any wider will work your butt, but leave the pelvic floor muscles lacking.)
    • Bend at the knees, back straight, bringing your bottom towards the floor. Go as low as you can while keeping your feet flat.
    • Tighten the bottom, pelvic floor and return to your standing position.
    • Repeat 10x and do 2 additional sets.

When You Need The Professionals

In some cases, your symptoms may not be caused by having a weak pelvic floor after all. If this is the case, contact your medical professional for a full evaluation and a specified course of treatment.

Introducing: Geneveve™

There are those time you may find that pelvic floor exercises aren’t enough. Enter Geneveve™.

Geneveve is a clinically proven non-surgical procedure that renews vaginal tissue and responsiveness. Unlike other treatments on the market, Geneveve is only a single session. It’s a safe and comfortable 30-minute procedure that is performed in our office. It’s used to improve your intimate wellness and improve vaginal laxity.

This treatment takes place in the comfort of your doctor’s office in just one session. During the procedure, a treatment tip the size of your thumb is inserted just inside the vaginal opening. The tip is rotated as it cools the surface and heats the soft tissue beneath. During the procedure, there may be a warm or cooling sensation, but you should not experience pain. Your body begins generating natural resilient collagen and elastin as a result of the treatment. Women feel the results of increased nerve sensitivity and strong muscle contractions in about 30 days and the full effect in 90. The results can last up to 12 months or longer.

You are a good candidate for Geneveve™ if you are experiencing the following:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bladder leakage
  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Decreased sensitivity
  • Vaginal laxity
  • Vaginal tears or thin walls

Need more advice about strengthening your pelvic floor, or want more information about Geneveve™? The professionals at Miami Center of Excellence are here to guide you. Talk to us at your next appointment, or contact us to make one!