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7 Need-To-Know Facts On Pelvic Health And Why You Can't Ignore It

Written by: Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Does your body ever feel unstable "down there"? It's important to know signs of weakness or injury in your pelvic floor so that you may care for your pelvic health to ensure long-lasting functioning.

indoor yoga exercise of a woman

Here are 7 things you need to know:


1. Get to the Core

In Pilates, practitioners use their core to keep their bodies still and activated in boat pose. We all use our core to go from seated to standing positions without using our hands. These core muscles keep the two halves of our body connected and in synchrony with one another while keeping everything inside well intact.

Our core consists of a funnel-shaped group of muscles that work together synergistically to facilitate eliminating bodily waste, proper sexual function, and sexual sensation. These muscles also protect the spine and organs from pressure (like that of coughing). This group of muscles is largely comprised of the following muscle groupings: the levator ani muscle, coccygeous muscle, abdominal muscles, back muscles, and diaphragm muscles that you use during breathing.


2. It's for you, too.

Pelvic floor instability is NOT just a disorder for women. All sexes, genders, ages, and races can experience pelvic dysfunction. 32% of women experience a pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime. Female-presenting pelvic weakness can manifest as sexual pain or a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the vagina that worsens by the end of the day. Over a lifetime,16% of men will experience pelvic floor disorder. Male-presenting pelvic floor weakness can manifest as premature ejaculation or other forms of erectile dysfunction.


3. How to Find It

  1. Roll up a small hand towel and place it long-ways, or "hot-dog" style, on a hard chair

  2. Sit down on top of the towel with your sits-bones resting around the rolled edges

  3. Feet should be flat on the ground, legs uncrossed

  4. Imagine lifting your belly button up, in and off of the towel

  5. To lift up and off, you will feel sensations in your abdomen, buttocks, lower back, and sexual organ

  6. You found your PC muscles (pelvic floor muscles)!

4. Damage Done?

It's helpful to know the signs of pelvic floor damage to look for in case your body experiences any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain during or after sex

  • Reduced sexual sensation

  • Leakage when you cough, laugh, bend, push, or move

  • Frequent need to urinate

  • Straining to pass stool

  • Any degree of pelvic organ prolapse

If you said "Yes" to any of the above, your pelvic floor muscles likely incurred some degree of stress or damage and need a bit of TLC. Damage can happen for many reasons, such as:

  • Hormone changes from aging due to menopause or andropause

  • Physical trauma during pregnancy or childbirth

  • Musculature separation after surgical incision and poor wound healing

  • Organ prolapse

  • Pressure from obesity

  • Chronic constipation

If you identify with any above symptoms, I strongly recommend that you contact a certified PFilates instructor or medical doctor for immediate treatment.


5. Timing is Everything

Pelvic health and conditioning are still widely misunderstood by the general health field. Most women are still hearing that they need to wait 6 to 8 weeks after birth before beginning pelvic floor PT. This is completely inaccurate for most cases, barring those with severe cases involving later stages of organ prolapse! Bring up the conversation with your medical provider about your options for pelvic floor recovery programs, their benefits and recommended time to start recovery protocols.

The process of injury or physical trauma and the importance of immediacy in healing is no differentwithin the reproductive areas than it is for a bodily injury in the shoulder or knee. The reason for immediacy is that it is so much more difficult to rebuild atrophied muscles than it is to strengthen weakened ones.

So, when should you seek treatment? Short answer: Immediately!


6. Kegels Aren't Enough

  1. Kegels only target a small percentage of our whole pelvic floor, which is meant to operate as a unifiedsystem

  2. A whopping 40% of people are doing Kegels incorrectly, potentially worsening their underlying issue

7. Rehab in 28-days

Healing and strengthening your pelvic floor doesn't have to be hard. For most cases, recovery also doesn't require invasive surgery or visiting an outside clinic multiple days per week. PFilates is a series of self-administered, at-home exercises completed in conjunction with a series of repetitive muscle movements and held with timed percussive breaths to help you activate the full group of your pelvic floor muscles.


Improvements in stability and function are guaranteed in just the first 28 days, with 80% of cases fully resolved in 3 months. Research has demonstrated that PFilates programming can generate contractions in the pelvic floor with up to 10x more muscle activity than a simple Kegel.


Our bodies have their own way of communicating with us when something is wrong. We just have to learn its language. If your body is communicating pelvic floor instability, PFilates offers a wonderful, evidence-based program that prevents invasive surgery, managing insurance, or the inconvenience of out-of-home clinics.


That's why I opted to get certified as a PFilates instructor to offer this program synergistically with other clinical services.


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In addition to 1-1 client sessions, Dr. Bathurst offers 90-day online Relationship Coaching Programs and in-person Hawaiian Couples Retreats.


What energy type do YOU exchange in romantic relationships? Take your free quiz or share MyFlowTypes.com with your friends for some fun!


A note of thanks to line editor Kellie Supplee


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Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Stephanie Bathurst is an expert Clinical Sexologist, Relationship Therapist, and Holistic Healer who applies evidence-based techniques that blend holistic and traditional therapies. As a provider, she aims to energize relationships, unblock barriers in the 8 forms of intimacy, and treat the whole system for clients to see long-lasting effects. Acknowledging the heaviness in our world, Dr. Bathurst strives to lead unhappy partners toward better sex, effective communication, and release of resentment so that together we can create a more loving, more stable connection. With her primary office in Oahu, HI, Dr. Bathurst offers coaching to clients across the globe, couples retreats, and hybrid relationship programs for immersive healing. Dr. Bathurst is the CEO of Bathurst Family Therapy, LLC., and has won numerous awards of excellence in her fields. Her integration of degrees in counseling and sexology combined with certifications as an Integrative Medicine Specialist for Mental Health and Pelvic Floor PFilates instructor makes Dr. Bathurst a truly unparalleled provider.

 

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