Let’s get real: sneezing when you pee and painful intercourse are not usually topics that women are in a rush to discuss. But the reality is, pelvic floor dysfunction affects one in three Canadian women; a change commonly brought on by childbearing and menopause.
But if you thought looking after your pelvic floor meant doing a few Kegels while you stand in line at the grocery store – think again. Not only are Kegels not appropriate for everyone, if you do them incorrectly, but you can also harm the muscles and tissues you’re trying to help.
It’s also crucial to get a proper diagnosis of what’s going on ‘down there’ if you are having issues; otherwise, if you treat it by yourself, you might do more harm than good.
So, what can women do to make sure that they are properly taking care of their pelvic floor health?
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), refers to any disorder found within the pelvic floor.
This includes bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse (descent of the organs) and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
A pelvic floor disorder may begin after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, trauma, bladder infections, if you play a lot of sports, hormonal changes or aging.
So if PFD is pretty common, and can be caused for multiple reasons, what can we do to help treat it?
What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is the most non-invasive approach to treating pelvic health issues, including incontinence, and patients can often see results after only a few visits. Just like the name suggests, pelvic floor physiotherapy strengthens the important muscles lining the pelvic floor. These are the muscles we use to control the urge to urinate or defecate, and they support the uterus, bladder, and rectum. Both men and women have them, and these muscles also help during childbirth.