Did you know that 1 in 3 people will suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) in their lifetime? Are you wondering why this is the first time you are hearing about it? Are you wondering which professionals to seek out if you need help? Want to know about kegeling? Read on!
In recent years, talking more openly about bodies in a shame-free way has become more of the norm- and hallelujah for that! You all remember the uncomfortable look on your parent's face when asking for pads or tampons…#awkward.
Now that acknowledging our vaginas doesn't cause full blown heart attacks, we can talk about alllll the crazy things we, and our vaginas encounter every single day.
With this forward shift towards “real-talk”, folks are actually feeling safe enough to share their stories, and well, it turns out that pelvic floor health is high on the list. Weakened pelvic floor muscles can happen to anyone regardless of age or gender (that’s right – all genders have pelvic floors). While many people often acknowledge a weakened pelvic floor after childbirth or with aging, reasons for PFD are numerous. The most common sign of PFD is incontinence, so if you’re running for the loo, it might be time to start pelvic floor training, or seek out a professional. THERE ARE WAYS TO RE-STRENGTHEN YOUR PELVIC FLOOR!!!
So you may have heard about the pelvic floor, but are not entirely sure what it is. For all of you vagina owners, have a read below!
"The Pelvic Floor is a group of muscles, connective tissues, ligaments and nerves that work as a hammock to support the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and rectum). It is also responsible for continence (urine/ feces/ flatus), during sexual activity and childbirth." - Silvia Saraiva, PFPT
Ever hear of a Physiotherapist? Often times we associate these professionals with a sore neck or sports injury, but physios can do heaps more than that. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are in abundance, and they are the BESTEST EVER resource if you’re struggling to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles on your own. If you’re experiencing pain, or at-home pelvic floor training is not working for you, seeking out a professional is never a bad call.
For those of you who want to try strengthening your pelvic floor muscles at home, let’s have a chat. Kegeling is the name of the exercise used for pelvic floor muscle training, where you breathe in and out, squeezing and releasing. You may have heard about Kegel balls, Yoni eggs, the Magic Banana and the Femme Flexor. These are all devices which are inserted into the vagina to assist with engaging the pelvic floor muscles. Don’t get me wrong, pelvic floor training takes TRAINING, so you can’t just buy a training tool and expect your problem to go away. Think of it like going to the gym, where consistency is key and by week 12 you’re #slayingit. It's also worth noting that if inserting anything vaginally is triggering for you, kegeling "au natural" is still going to help loads too!
Choosing the right pelvic floor strengthening tool is essential. For a long time, yoni eggs and kegel balls have dommed the market but innovation is catching up. Products like the Magic Banana and Femme Flexor use resistance training, kind of like yoga and pilates. While the Magic Banana is a longer instrument and used while lying down, the Femme Flexor is inserted and wearable so you can train on the go. Resistance training is much gentler on the body, as wearing weighted kegels is a battle against gravity.…let’s just say weight is not your closest friend when your pelvic floor muscles are already compromised.
Lastly, with or without any devices, yoga once again kicks butt. Strengthening your entire body and doing a consistent pelvic related yoga sesh is OH SO brill! Yoga with Adriene is my absolute heart and guess what...she's got a PELVIC related yoga video on youtube. Huzzah and thank you!
So there you have it on the pelvic floor! Leave comments below if you want more info, or have anything additional to add. If you want to hear more on this topic, just shout it out!! #staycool