Despite being commonly known as a problem area for primarily women, the pelvic floor is a set of muscles in both males and females that can weaken over time. Which is not surprising really, when you consider that your pelvic floor is responsible for supporting your bladder, your bowels and helps you in bed as well.
That a lot of responsibility for a small set of muscles that very few people actually pay attention to. No one seems to be talking about arm, chest and pelvic floor day at the gym, do they?
Finding your pelvic floor muscles can be tricky, you obviously want to make sure that you are working out the correct muscles and it is different for men and women. There are plenty of online webpages that can help you make sure you are doing the correct exercises. If you are concerned about your pelvic floor or any problems relating to it, then consult a continence professional.
The difficulty with pelvic floor muscles is that they are not visible and therefore hold no aesthetic value to working them out. However, there are an enormous number of benefits to keeping your pelvic floor in shape:
Improving bladder control
If you have ever tried to get your mother on a trampoline, you will know the protestations of lack of bladder control. This is a common symptom of having children and is why pelvic floor exercises are most commonly associated with women.
Struggling with bladder control is very common, but it is not always linked to the pelvic floor. Other reasons for loss of bladder control could be: Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Urinary Tract Infections. Simple measures can be taken for STI and UTI prevention but if you are concerned, consult your doctor.
Improving bowel control
The muscles that make up the pelvic floor also support your bowels, so maintaining them can assist with bowel weakness, too. Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the surrounding muscles and help them to function more efficiently. The benefit of performing these exercises means that the likelihood of incontinence accidents is reduced.
Improved recovery from childbirth
This is obviously a pelvic floor issue that applies to women. During pregnancy, the weight of the baby and the effect that the added influx of hormones has on your tissue, means that the pelvic floor muscles become stretched and therefore looser. Regular, daily exercises post-birth can help the pelvic floor to become stronger, and obviously you should wait until you are comfortable enough to begin doing them.
Increased potential for orgasm
During orgasm, there is an increase of blood flow to your muscles and then the muscles start contracting. The more efficient your pelvic floor is, the stronger these contractions are. Therefore, the more your do your pelvic floor exercises the better your orgasm can be.
Improved recovery from prostate surgery
Pelvic floor exercises are vital for recovery after prostate surgery as they are the muscles that can help you control your bladder. Consult your physician as to when they recommend that you start doing the exercises post-surgery. Doing pelvic floor exercises with a urinary catheter still in place is not recommended as it can cause you discomfort and irritate your bladder.
Reduced risk of prolapse
As you get older, your pelvic floor muscles will gradually weaken, this can cause prolapses in both men and women. Prolapses come in a degree of severity, the most severe of which may require surgery. Performing pelvic floor exercises will help to keep the muscles strengthened and will reduce the risk of prolapses.
Increased quality of life
Having pelvic floor issues, either in regards to bladder control or in regards to post-surgery wellness, can have a negative effect on your life. They can affect your physical health and your mental health while at the same time stopping you from enjoying all the experiences that life has to offer. If these health problems are holding your back, consider the benefits that simple pelvic floor exercises have to offer.
The exercises are very simple,and here are a few examples:
Sitting in a comfortable position, tighten the muscles as hard as you can and hold for 3 seconds. Release the muscles are repeat 10 times.
Squeeze and Release:
Sitting in a comfortable position, squeeze the muscles as tight as you can and release quickly. Rest for 3 seconds then repeat up to 20 times. Do this twice a day.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend the knees as if you were going to sit in a chair. Go as low as feels comfortable, keeping your back straight at all times. Focus on clenching the buttock muscles and then tightening the pelvic floor. Return to standing and repeat up to 10 times.
If you have any concerns about your physical health, then always consult your physician.