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Women’s Health Physiotherapy

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Women’s Health Physiotherapy

Introduction

The pelvic floor (PF) muscles exists in both men and women. The role of the PF is to keep your organs such as bowel and bladder in position especially on movements that cause an increase in intra-abdominal pressure like lifting, sneezing and carrying. The PF needs to be effective when passing urine or a bowel movement and in maintaining an erection or vaginal sensations. 1/3 of women experience issues with their PF during their lifetime.   

Other Functions

  • Keeping the bladder and bowel closed to stop ‘leaking’
  • Bladder and bowel emptying
  • Sexual function – maintaining an erection, preventing premature ejaculation in men and improving sensation and ‘grip’ in women

  

The pelvic floor muscles are also important in supporting postural and spine health and stability.  

Common Complaints with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

  • Urinary dysfunction
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pain in the lower back, vagina or abdomen 

Common Contributing Factors

  • Pregnancy and childbirth – hormonal ligament laxity, vaginal delivery, episiotomy/tears
  • Obesity and being over-weight – extra downward pressure of the pelvic organs
  • Repetitive heavy lifting – this increases the intra-abdominal pressure on the pelvic organs
  • Strong family history – inherited weaker collagen type
  • Age –age related changes to muscle tissue composition
  • Menopause – hormonal changes can make symptoms worse
  • Chronic constipation – straining can increase intra-abdominal pressure  
  • Chronic cough – as above
  • Previous pelvic surgery – POP repair, hysterectomy, prostate surgery in men

Diagnosis

As you can see with the number of symptoms, contributing factors pelvic floor dysfunction need to consider other differential diagnosis. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction considerably impacts quality of life through reducing physical activity levels, pain and the possible impact on mental health.

 

At Pure Physiotherapy, our skilled clinicians will be able to help determine the factors contributing to your symptoms, pain and discomfort and work with you to develop a personalised and progressive management and exercise plan. Click here for more information on Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction in our ‘Conditions’ section

Rehabilitation

Improving pelvic floor strength is a fantastic way to make steps towards improving your symptoms.  

 

Try these steps to help you find yours.  

 

  1. Get comfortable either sitting or standing.
  2. Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and urine at the same time. Draw the pelvic floor muscle upwards and forwards away from the bowel – as if your reaching them to the tip of your chin.  
  3. Try not to hold your breath or squeeze your buttocks or legs together.  
  4. Now fully relax your pelvic floor and tummy muscles before having another go.  

 

To improve your pelvic floor strength, try the above steps with 10 long squeezes (aim to hold for 10 seconds each) followed by 10 short squeezes. Make sure that you completely relax your pelvic floor and tummy muscles between each squeeze. Always go to your GP if you are concerned about urinary/bowel incontinence or if you get pain on trying these exercises.  

Appointment Enquiry

Please note - this is only an enquiry form, we will contact you to confirm appointment details.

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