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Pelvic Floor 101: Understanding the Basics of Your Pelvic Floor

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The term "pelvic floor" has gained significant attention in the health and fitness industry recently. While it's fantastic that more people are discussing it, you might still be unfamiliar with what the pelvic floor is and why it holds such importance in women's health and fitness. No need to worry – we've got you covered. 

This article will delve into the fundamentals of the pelvic floor, underscore its significance, and provide insights into maintaining a healthy pelvic floor.

Pelvic Floor Anatomy

The pelvic floor consists of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues, forming a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. Extending from the pubic bone to the tailbone and from one sitting bone to the other, these muscles play a vital role in supporting internal organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum.


  1. SUPPORT: The pelvic floor is crucial for supporting the pelvic organs. Think of it like the bottom of a basket – your pelvis has an open hole at its base. The pelvic floor muscles attach to the pelvis, providing structural support to keep everything in place. For women, this means supporting the bladder, rectum, and uterus. These muscles are the unsung heroes ensuring these organs stay where they should.

  2. SPHINCTER CONTROL: Your pelvic floor plays a key role in controlling the opening and closing of the urethra, vagina, and anus, contributing to continence. Continence is all about keeping things in check, like having the power to decide when and where you go to the bathroom. It's about being in charge and avoiding any unexpected leaks or surprises, especially when it comes to your bladder and bowel functions. Keeping this control is vital for your overall health and feeling your best.

  3. STABILITY: The pelvic floor is vital for maintaining stability in the pelvic region, crucial for posture and overall body alignment. It's the anchor that keeps everything in balance.


Just like muscles elsewhere in your body can be weak, strong, tight, or knotted, scarred or torn, the muscles in your pelvic floor can show similar characteristics. If there's an issue with your pelvic floor, specific symptoms may arise. Consider these symptoms as your body's way of dropping hints – it's telling you that something in your pelvic floor might need attention.



  1. INCONTINENCE: Ever find yourself leaking a bit when you sneeze or take a jump? It's a common issue affecting both men and women, and it might indicate something going on in your pelvic floor. While many assume leaks mean a weak pelvic floor – and it could be – tight muscles can also be the culprit. Ideally, our pelvic floor should be flexible, able to give and take like a trampoline. If these muscles are consistently tight, they lack the flexibility needed for high-impact activities like jumping. It's like expecting a trampoline bounce but hitting the resistance of concrete.

    So, sometimes leaking may be a result of  weakness; tightness can be the root cause too, this is where a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist can really help, they can determine the root cause of your leaking and work with you to help get you back to being in control. 

  2. PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE: Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, descend or bulge into the vaginal canal. This condition is often linked to the weakening of pelvic floor muscles and supporting tissues, commonly caused by factors like childbirth, aging, or excess weight gain. Symptoms may include a feeling of pressure or fullness in the pelvic region, discomfort, or difficulty with bowel and bladder functions. Treatment options range from pelvic floor exercises to surgical interventions, depending on the severity of the prolapse and individual circumstances.

    It's estimated that about 30% to 50% of women who've had vaginal births may face some level of pelvic organ prolapse at some point in their lives. How likely and how severe it is can depend on factors like your age, how many pregnancies you've had, your genetics, and the general health of your pelvic area. But here's the good news – if you find yourself relating, you're not alone, and there's plenty you can do to handle pelvic organ prolapse and gradually build up the strength of those tissues. So, don't worry, there are steps you can take to take control!

  3. PELVIC PAIN: Experiencing chronic pelvic pain due to pelvic floor dysfunction can be challenging, but it's essential to recognize that you don't have to endure it alone. Even if others may have dismissed your concerns or if you've been told there's nothing that can be done, rest assured there are numerous options available, and you don't have to endure the discomfort in silence. There's a lot you can do to address pelvic floor dysfunction and improve your quality of life. If this is something you struggle with, a great place to start would be to visit a pelvic floor physical therapist. They're the experts who can provide tailored guidance and support for your specific situation.


Alright, buckle up because we're diving deep into the "nerdy" side of things in this section. Here's where we geek out on how we seamlessly weave pelvic floor considerations into our daily movements and exercises.Consider this a speedy overview, and if things aren't clicking just yet, no sweat. We've got more detailed information waiting for you, in follow up posts that cover each topic in detail. 


  1. DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING: Diaphragmatic breathing engages the diaphragm and can positively impact pelvic floor function by activating and relaxing the pelvic floor, promoting optimal intra-abdominal pressure, coordinating diaphragm and pelvic floor, enhancing mind-body connection.

  2. EXERCISE: Exercise can play a significant role in improving pelvic floor health by strengthening and supporting the muscles in this area, improving blood flow, maintaining a healthy body weight, enhancing core stability, increasing flexibility, and improving posture.

  3. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: Factors like avoiding constipation, eliminating just in case peeing, staying hydrated, stress management, and sleep can all contribute to overall pelvic floor health. 


PELVIC FLOOR PHYSICAL THERAPY: If you have any questions or concerns about your pelvic floor functioning, pain with sex, leaking when exercising, having given birth, ever, even if it was a C-Section delivery, we cannot recommend scheduling an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist enough. Specialized physical therapists can provide exercises and techniques to address specific pelvic floor concerns. 

PERSONAL TRAINER WHO IS CERTIFIED IN PELVIC FLOOR: This may sound a little self serving, but we genuinely believe that every woman deserves to collaborate with a fitness professional who comprehends the distinctive aspects of crafting an exercise program for the optimal well-being of your core and pelvic floor. Finding a trainer who can guide your breathing, ensure proper exercise setups that prioritize pelvic floor considerations, and address your questions regarding the core and pelvic floor is an invaluable resource. It’s about empowering you to make informed choices for your health by seeking the expertise of the right fitness professional.

In conclusion, grasping the fundamentals of pelvic floor health is a game-changer, giving women the tools to proactively care for this crucial part of our bodies. Whether it's incorporating exercises, coordinating your breathing, tweaking lifestyle habits, or reaching out to professionals for guidance, making pelvic floor well-being a priority is a solid investment in overall health and a better quality of life.