What is the Pelvic Floor?
Have you ever heard of the term pelvic floor, yet found yourself confused about where it is, what it does and why it is so important? Don’t worry, you are most definitely not alone. In fact, if you have heard the term before, chances are that you are likely ahead of the curve. It is one of the most under-rated group of muscles in the human body in my professional opinion. Let me further explain…
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that attach to the pelvic girdle from front to back or tailbone to pubic bone, forming a sling or bowl. There are layers to this bowl and therefore some muscles are located more superficial and others are in the deeper layer. Together the main function of the pelvic floor is to give support to internal organs, maintain continence, and contributes to sexual function. Now let’s elaborate a little more on these main functions.
The pelvic floor muscle provides support to internal structures such as the bladder, cervix, uterus, rectum & vaginal walls. The pelvic floor muscles get help from ligamentous and connective tissues as well to support these structures. A weakened support system could lead to different types of prolapse such as bladder, rectal, or uterine.
Muscles of the pelvic floor give us the ability to maintain both fecal and urinary continence. It is the reason we can hold back an urge or relax to allow for evacuation. One of the most common impairments of a weak pelvic floor, especially after childbirth is urinary incontinence. I want to emphasize that although it is common, it is not normal or expected to be normal after childbirth or even as a person ages. It is important to note that increased tension or a high tone pelvic floor could also yield symptoms similar to a weakened pelvic floor. In the case of a high tone pelvic floor the course of treatment would vary. It is best to consult with a skilled professional to identify the underlying impairment.
The ability to have sexual intercourse and orgasms are all thanks to the pelvic floor muscles. Having a “neutral” resting tone of the pelvic floor muscles allows for penetration to take place without pain. Now, when it comes to orgasms, that is all thanks to the pelvic floor as well. The stronger your pelvic floor muscles are, the more intense of an orgasm you can experience.
So, there we have it, the pelvic floor. Find your floor, familiarize yourself with it, and don’t neglect it because those muscles need a little bit of loving too!