Did you know that pelvic floor dysfunction can affect your body in a lot of ways? In this blog, we discuss the function of your pelvic floor and why it’s so important to keep it strong.

Your pelvic floor muscles do a lot for you, whether you realize it or not. This group of muscles is involved in multiple aspects of your bodily functions surrounding your lower abdomen from sexual activity to digestion.

If your pelvic floor becomes weak in any capacity, it can lead to many different health issues like incontinence or poor sexual function.

At Prairie Garden Medical, Joel S. Tupper, MD, and Daniel Jones, MD, and the rest of our team want you to understand why having a strong pelvic floor is so important while also listing some different ways to strengthen it.

Understanding the pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor muscles are located between your tailbone and your pubic bone within your pelvis. They support internal organs such as your bladder and your colon (and your uterus and vagina if you’re a woman).

If you don’t have a strong pelvic floor, it can lead to some of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty urinating or passing bowel movements
  • Frequently needing to use the bathroom
  • Chronic constipation
  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvis muscle spasms
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Having a weak pelvic floor can also cause men to develop erectile dysfunction and women to lose sensation in the vagina.

While there are some ways to prevent losing strength in your pelvic floor, the following things can affect how strong or weak those muscles are:

  • Pelvic surgery
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Nerve damage
  • Genetics can also play a large role in the strength of your pelvic floor. It’s possible that some people are born with weaker muscles and connective tissues.

How to strengthen your pelvic floor
There are many ways to treat any pelvic floor dysfunction, but one of the most important things you can do on your own is pelvic floor exercises.

Some good ones to start with are called Kegel exercises, which are simple clench-and-release exercises. You can start by tensing your pelvic floor muscles for three second increments and relaxing them for three seconds. Try doing this 10 times. After you’ve gotten used to the exercises, you can work up to 10-second increments for 10 repetitions.

It may take a few months for you to notice the effects of Kegel exercises. However, if after some time has passed, you don’t notice a difference, you may need to contact our team about doing some physical therapy.

Other treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction include muscle relaxants, behavior changes like not straining when using the bathroom, and lifestyle changes like taking warm baths and doing yoga.

Next steps
If you’re struggling with symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, don’t wait to see us about getting your pelvic floor strength back. To schedule an appointment with our team, you can contact our office located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, or use our online booking tool today.