Why would you even want a fit pelvic floor?
You may have lusted after Michelle Obama’s arms or JLo’s backside, but who’s even heard of a fit pelvic floor? And why would you care how toned it is? We know it sounds silly, but read on for five ways a fit pelvic floor can make you feel good—and in some cases, really, really good.
1. No more leaking
Leaking, or “peeing a little”, is really common but it’s not a great sign of your pelvic floor fitness. The good news is you can do something about it. By increasing your pelvic fitness you can combat stress incontinence, one of the most common kinds of incontinence, and retrain your bladder to behave (take that urge incontinence!). Remember: Incontinence is common but it’s not normal.
2. Better organ support
Don’t freak out, but pelvic organ prolapse is more common than incontinence. This is when one of the three pelvic organs—bladder, uterus, or rectum—descends, moving into and sometimes all the way out of the vagina. Yikes! Pelvic floor fitness can be an excellent preventive and curative measure for prolapse, and is certainly safer and less invasive than the traditional treatment – surgery. For more about the anatomy involved and how to keep it healthy, read Get to know your pelvis.
3. Better sex
Contrary to popular belief, problems with pelvic health do not all trace back to tissue that’s too loose. This can happen, particularly after injury from childbirth, for example, when the pelvic cavity atrophies resulting in a lot of extra space. But just as common are cases where the pelvic tissues that is too tight or overactive, and that can correlate with painful intercourse, constricted nerve function (lack luster orgasm), or a lack of lubrication. In a healthy, fit pelvis the tissue is neither too loose nor tight, and have good vascularization and lubrication. A fit pelvic floor can increase orgasms and make sex better generally.
4. Better bowel function
If your pelvic floor is too tight or tense, this can make going number two not so easy – actually pelvic floor tension is associated with constipation. Straining on the toilet can damage your fascia which can contribute to pelvic floor damage (think prolapse and incontinence). On the flip side, if there’s been a tear (in childbirth for example), the tissue might need to be retrained to prevent fecal incontinence. Your pelvic floor needs the proper degree of flexibility so it can tighten and relax as your body needs—which is exactly how a fit pelvis works.
5. Better core function
Your pelvic floor is the centre of your core so when it’s in good shape it improves your general fitness. A fit floor can improve your posture, movement, and ability, which in turn leads to enhanced self-confidence. You want to bring back your core? It all starts at the pelvic floor!