The talk about pelvic floor is not a fashion, and despite what many people think it is, It’s still largely unknown to most women. It is one of the essential parts of our body, and we don’t realize that it plays a fundamental role in our quality of life until a problem or dysfunction occurs.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the set of muscles and ligaments found in the lower part of the pelvis, forming a rhombus between the ischial bones, the pubic symphysis, and the coccyx. Within this rhombus, we distinguish the muscles of the superficial part, the muscles of the deeper part, and the sphincters of the urethra, vagina, and anus.
Although we may not be aware of the importance of the pelvic floor, it is not unknown to our bodies. This set of muscles works synchronously and harmoniously with other muscles to perform different functions.
The pelvic floor is in relation to the diaphragm, so breathing and the pelvic floor are in a deep connection; with the lumbar spine and the abdominal wall. So, we understand that any alteration of these structures can also affect the pelvic floor.
What are its functions?
- Support. As its name suggests, it acts as the «floor» of the pelvis. It prevents organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum from descending, acting as a support. It also plays a vital role in lumbopelvic stability, taking care of our posture.
- Continence. The pelvic floor is responsible for containing urine, feces, and gasses; and, at the same time, for being able to evacuate urine and feces quickly when we decide to do so.
- Reproductive. The musculature’s condition influences the moment of descent and expulsion of the baby on the day of delivery, as the baby’s head will be in contact with the mother’s pelvic floor muscles. For the same reason, these muscles must also be able to relax and be flexible, to facilitate the baby’s exit.
- Sexual. Just as childbirth is directly related to the pelvic floor, so is the quality of sexual intercourse. A good tone will ensure that sexual intercourse can take place and be pleasurable.
What happens if it is not in good condition?
Suppose these muscles are not well-toned and do not have the necessary flexibility. In that case, they can cause problems such as urinary incontinence, anal or gas incontinence, sexual dysfunction, prolapse, lower back pain, or pelvic pain.
Decreased sensitivity, difficulty reaching orgasm, or the impossibility of penetration may be pelvic floor disorder symptoms.
It is important to know that these symptoms can also appear even if we have a pelvic floor with taut muscles. This is one of the causes of chronic pelvic pain. It is a pain that occurs in the lower abdomen, pelvis, and pelvic floor. It can range from simple discomfort to intense pain that prevents daily activities.
That is why it is vital always to feel and take care of your pelvic floor, not only when a problem appears. We must train the pelvic floor muscles to keep them in good condition and improve our physical, psychological, and sexual well-being.