The Short Story:
- Relaxin: the hormone that makes your joints loose and your pelvic floor… not so much.
- Menopause: not just hot flushes and mood swings, but also thinning vaginal walls and less elastic pelvic floor muscles.
- Kegel exercises: the workout for your lady bits that will make you pee less, poop better, and have better orgasms.
- Remember, a strong pelvic floor means a better sex life, and who doesn’t want that?
The Deep Dive:
Pelvic floors, schmelvic floors—who cares, right? WRONG. Your pelvic floor is the unsung hero of your amazing body. It’s a group of muscles and tissues that supports your bladder, uterus, and rectum, and it’s crucial for things like peeing, pooping, and orgasms. But did you know that hormones can have a big impact on your pelvic floor health? Let’s talk about it.
First things first, let’s talk about pregnancy. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released in order to loosen your joints and make room for that little bundle of joy. But relaxing also affects your pelvic floor muscles, making them more relaxed and less able to hold everything in. This can lead to things like incontinence, which is when you pee a little when you cough or sneeze. According to a study by the National Institute of Health, about 1 in 3 women will experience incontinence during pregnancy.
But it’s not just pregnancy that can mess with your pelvic floor. Menopause can also have an impact. As you age, your body stops producing as much estrogen (produced predominantly by your ovaries) resulting in changes to the blood flow and lubrication of your pelvic floor muscles and tissues, which can lead to the thinning of the vaginal walls and less elasticity in the pelvic floor muscles. This can make it harder to hold in urine and can also lead to dryness and discomfort during sex. According to a survey by the North American Menopause Society, around half of postmenopausal women experience incontinence.
So, what can you do to keep your pelvic floor in tip-top shape? Kegel exercises are not always your best friend, nor the only solution, but they can help. Kegel exercises involve squeezing and releasing the muscles you use to hold in urine. They’re easy to do and can be done anywhere at any time without anyone even noticing. Plus, they’re not just good for your pelvic floor—they can also improve your sexual satisfaction. According to a study by the University of West of England, women who performed kegel exercises reported greater sexual satisfaction and fewer incontinence problems.
A change in your hormones can have a significant impact on the health of your pelvic floor. But don’t let that get you down; by incorporating some simple tweaks to your diet and exercise, you can support the changes to your pelvic floor. Seeing a pelvic floor PT can be a great way to getting the right level of pelvic floor support you need, or try an online course by a qualified Pelvic Health PT from the comfort of your own home to help you keep those muscles strong and healthy. And remember, a strong pelvic floor means better sex, better pooping, and less peeing your pants. So, go forth and squeeze those muscles, ladies!
To learn more about Pelvic Health, visit us https://pelihealth.health/