The floor in you that has a soul - The Pelvic Floor

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The pelvic floor muscles are the foundation for the core of the body. They help stabilize the pelvis, and they support the organs of the lower abdominal cavity, the bladder and uterus and rectum. The pelvic floor is a large hammock of muscles stretching from side to side across the floor of the pelvis. It is attached to your pubic bone in front, and to the the tail end of your spine behind. The openings from your bladder, your bowels and your womb all pass through your pelvic floor. One of these muscles, the pubococcygeus, also known as the PC muscle, goes around the openings for the urethra, vagina, and anus. When the pelvic floor muscles are weak or damaged, the integrity of these openings can be compromised.

Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. These include:

A weak pelvic floor can lead to problems like incontinence and diminished sexual enjoyment, your pelvic organs may descend and bulge into your vagina — a condition known as pelvic organ prolapse. The effects of pelvic organ prolapse range from uncomfortable pelvic pressure to leakage of urine. Pelvic organ prolapse isn't inevitable, however. Kegel exercises can help delay or even prevent pelvic organ prolapse and the related symptoms.

There are a variety of problems related to the pelvic floor. The most common include:

1. Pelvic organ prolapse – A “prolapse” occurs when the pelvic muscles and tissue become weak and can no longer hold the organs in place correctly. In uterine prolapse, the uterus can press down on the vagina, causing it to invert, or even to come out through the vaginal opening. In vaginal prolapse, the top of the vagina loses support and can drop through the vaginal opening. Some symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse may include:

• A feeling of heaviness or fullness or as if something falling out of the vagina.
• Some women also feel a pulling or aching or a “bulge” in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
• Prolapse may also cause a kinking in the urethra, making it harder for a woman to empty her bladder completely, or causing frequent urinary tract infections

2. Urinary incontinence – This can occur when the bladder drops down into the vagina. Because the bladder is not in its proper place, a key symptom of urinary incontinence is urine leaking without a woman’s control. Other symptoms might include urgency to urinate, frequent urination, and painful urination.

3. Anal incontinence – This can occur when the rectum bulges into or out of the vagina, making it difficult to control the bowels. It can also occur when there is damage to the anal sphincter, the ring of muscles that keep the anus closed.

What are the treatments for pelvic floor disorders?

Many women don’t need complicated treatment for their pelvic floor disorder. In some cases, treatment for symptoms includes changes in diet, weight control, and other lifestyle changes. Treatment may also include surgery, medication, and use of a device placed in the vagina called a pessary that helps support the pelvic organs. However, the first line treatment for most pelvic floor disorders is Kegel exercises.

Kegel is a term used to refer to exercises aimed at restoring and increasing the tone of the pubococcygeus muscle by regular clenching and unclenching. Kegel exercises find their roots from ancient traditions first developed by the Taoist movement in China. Dr. Arnold Kegel adapted the “program” to the modern world, vastly promoted it and contributed to making the exercises very popular. The aim of Kegel exercises is to strengthen pelvic floor which if not engaged or “worked out” frequently, become weak and eventually atrophy. They help strengthen the muscles around the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum.


1. Find the right muscles.

Insert a finger inside your vagina and try to squeeze the surrounding muscles. You should feel your vagina tighten and your pelvic floor move upward. Then relax your muscles and feel your pelvic floor return to the starting position. You can also try to stop the flow of urine when you urinate. If you succeed, you've got the basic move. Don't make a habit of starting and stopping your urine stream, though. Doing Kegel exercises with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles, as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.

2. Isolate the PC muscle when doing your kegel exercises.

At the beginning, remember to regularly check that you are exercising your PC muscle, and not other muscles. Avoid contracting your abdominal, thigh, or buttocks muscles. This is something many people do, but it reduces the effectiveness of the kegel exercise Concentrate on breathing and trying to keep yourself relaxed, and only tense the PC muscles you are using. Try not to tense up your whole body.
3. Start slow, find your baseline.

The basic exercise can be done anytime and anywhere. Just squeeze your PC muscles as hard as you can, and hold them. This is doing a kegel exercise. Start by squeezing and holding for a count of 3-5 seconds, then release and relax for 5 seconds. When you release, notice how your muscles feel. The first time you do a kegel exercise see how many times you can do it before you feel your muscles getting tired.

4. Use sets of repetitions

Your kegel exercises will be most efficient and have the most impact if you get into doing sets of repetitions of the squeezing. Once you’ve found your baseline, you can work from there. If you can, start with doing 5 repetitions (squeeze/hold/release). Judge for yourself how long you can hold the squeeze for, but don’t push yourself too much at first.

5. Building up strength with kegel exercises.

Once you've found your baseline, do your exercises, and every couple of days increase both the length of time you hold the squeeze for, and the number of exercises per set. As a guideline, try to work up to a point where you can hold the squeeze for ten seconds. And try to work up to doing ten reps of kegel exercises per set. So you squeeze, hold for ten second, release, relax for ten seconds, and repeat ten times.

6. Do your kegel exercises three or four times a day.

Try to take three or four times in the day to do kegel exercises. Again, everyone is different, but as a guideline try to do ten reps per session, holding for ten seconds on each exercise.

7. Vary the intensity and time in kegel exercises.

You can also try to vary the intensity of your squeezing and the amount of time you hold the squeeze in a set. Once you’re comfortable that you're doing the exercises properly try a set where you do rapid squeeze and release. Experiment with how long you can comfortably hold a squeeze. Remember not to push yourself to the point of pain or discomfort.

8. Finding time to do your kegel exercises.

You don’t need to set aside a big chunk of time to do kegel exercises. Do a few reps while waiting for a stop light to turn green. In the last ten minutes before lunch, when you’re sitting at a desk, do a few reps. Do them while you’re waiting for the movie to start, or a commercial break to be over.

9. Don’t overdo your kegel exercises.

Like any exercise, it’s important to build up slowly, and pay attention to your body. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you are pushing yourself too hard. It is possible that you could strain the muscles and aggravate a current problem, when you are trying to resolve it.
Kegel exercises — along with counseling and sex therapy — may also be helpful for women who have persistent problems reaching orgasm. If you're having trouble doing Kegel exercises, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Many women have challenges doing the exercises and especially in isolating the right muscles to engage during the exercise. As a result, the exercises do not produce the desired results and many women give up on the exercises all together. Other challenges include forgetting to do the exercises and doing too few squeezes.
One of the safe options in the market of doing kegel exercises is neuromuscular stimulation. Electrical (or neuromuscular) stimulation involves the use of a mild electrical impulse to induce rhythmic contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. They work by passing tiny electrical impulses through the nerves and muscle, via an internal probe inserted into the vagina or anus. The tiny impulses stimulate the nerves and muscles, causing the muscle groups of the pelvic floor contract and relax automatically. Stimulation devices are therefore often recommended for women and men who are unable to identify or contract their pelvic floor muscles voluntarily. They can also provide either an alternative or supplement to pelvic floor exercises and other exercise aids.
If you do your Kegel exercises faithfully, you can expect to see results — such as less frequent urine leakage — within about eight to 12 weeks. For some women, the improvement is dramatic. For others, Kegel exercises simply keep problems from getting any worse. For continued benefits, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.

Why every woman should use a Kegel Pelvic Floor Exercise Device.