What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a complex layer of muscle; fascia and fibrous tissue that helps support the pelvic organs.

Does birth weaken the pelvic floor?

Yes. Giving birth can weaken or damage the pelvic floor. Skeletal muscle is supposed to rupture when it reaches approximately 150% of its normal length. During birth, some muscles of the pelvic floor can be stretched up to 260% of their normal length. Complicated births such as forceps delivery or multiple births can also increase the risk of damage to the pelvic floor

What can happen if the pelvic floor is weakened or damaged?

Common symptoms of damage to the pelvic floor can include:

Stress incontinence

Pelvic or back pain &

Organ prolapse

Can anything be done?

Yes! In many cases specific exercises can help restore the function of the pelvic floor. Starting these exercises in the first half of pregnancy can also reduce the chances of incontinence in late pregnancy and after birth. Physiotherapists have specific training and equipment to assess and retrain the pelvic floor muscle.

 

Is it embarrassing to talk to someone about this?

Pelvic floor weakness and its associated symptoms can be embarrassing to talk about and many people put off getting advice or treatment because of this. The reality is that it is an extremely common problem and your doctor or specialised physio will have had special training in treating this common problem. In most cases, assessment of the pelvic floor muscles can be undertaken using real time ultrasound and does not require a pelvic examination or undressing.

 

Specific Exercises and Quality of Exercise

Getting professional instruction and feedback regarding the pelvic floor muscles during exercises is important as up to 50% of people do not perform the exercises correctly through instruction alone. The quality of the exercise is crucial to achieving a good outcome. If you are having trouble with your pelvic floor that is related to pregnancy or childbirth, a physiotherapist with experience in women’s health or your GP is a good starting point.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a complex layer of muscle; fascia and fibrous tissue that helps support the pelvic organs.

Does birth weaken the pelvic floor?

Yes. Giving birth can weaken or damage the pelvic floor. Skeletal muscle is supposed to rupture when it reaches approximately 150% of its normal length. During birth, some muscles of the pelvic floor can be stretched up to 260% of their normal length. Complicated births such as forceps delivery or multiple births can also increase the risk of damage to the pelvic floor.

What can happen if the pelvic floor is weakened or damaged?

Common symptoms of damage to the pelvic floor can include:

Stress incontinence

Pelvic or back pain &

Organ prolapse

Can anything be done?

Yes! In many cases specific exercises can help restore the function of the pelvic floor. Starting these exercises in the first half of pregnancy can also reduce the chances of incontinence in late pregnancy and after birth. Physiotherapists have specific training and equipment to assess and retrain the pelvic floor muscle.

Is it embarrassing to talk to someone about this?

Pelvic floor weakness and its associated symptoms can be embarrassing to talk about and many people put off getting advice or treatment because of this. The reality is that it is an extremely common problem and your doctor or specialised physio will have had special training in treating this common problem. In most cases, assessment of the pelvic floor muscles can be undertaken using real time ultrasound and does not require a pelvic examination or undressing.

Specific Exercises and Quality of Exercise

Getting professional instruction and feedback regarding the pelvic floor muscles during exercises is important as up to 50% of people do not perform the exercises correctly through instruction alone. The quality of the exercise is crucial to achieving a good outcome. If you are having trouble with your pelvic floor that is related to pregnancy or childbirth, a physiotherapist with experience in women’s health or your GP is a good starting point.

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