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Your Pelvic Floor- All the Basics You Need to Know

What is the Pelvic Floor?

Your pelvic floor consists of muscles and ligaments that stretch all the way from your pubic bone to the end of your back bone (coccyx) but what do you know what they actually do...

Acting like a hammock, your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, and bowel; protecting them from natural forces such as gravity and to ensure everything is held in place. Without you even realising the pelvic floor muscles constantly stay firm and slightly tensed to stop any leakages from the bladder or the bowel. When you go to the toilet the muscles relax which allows everything to pass. When you laugh, cough, and sneeze your pelvic floor muscles tighten to stop anything accidently coming out when you don’t want it too.  Your pelvic Floor muscles are also important to sexual function as they improve sexual awareness during intercourse for both you and your partner.

You can now probably tell that your pelvic floor muscles are pretty important and without them you would encounter a fair few embarrassing situations. If you leave the muscles to weaken – as they naturally will for all of you, you are putting yourself at risk of leaks when you laugh, cough, sneeze or even worse, your pelvic floor muscles could give way completely resulting in pelvic organ prolapse.

What can make your pelvic floor muscles weaker?

Common factors that can cause your pelvic floor to become weaker are pregnancy, menopause and high impact exercises such as jogging. However these aren't the only reasons, other less common causes include;

Lack of pelvic floor exercise- like any muscles, not working out your pelvic floor muscles will lead them to become weak as after time they become stretched and less able to perform their role.

Straining on the loo- straining to open your bowels puts added pressure on the pelvic floor which can damage and weaken it.

Being overweight- the excess weight that overweight people carry also puts excess pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. If you do suffer from leaks then losing some weight may help plus there are lots of other health benefits too.

Chronic coughing- if you are constantly coughing your pelvic floor is constantly being tightened to try and brace itself which will eventually lead it to become weaker. Smokers are often victims of a chronic cough so quitting the habit may also help protect you from those little leaks.

How to Exercise your Pelvic Floor?

Exercising your pelvic floor is pretty simple, just follow the step by step instructions above and you won't be far wrong. Stick to a routine like this performed quickly 3-4 times per day and you can expect to begin to feel the difference in 8-20 weeks. One problem with exercising your pelvic floor muscles is that they are hidden so  it is difficult to be able to tell if you are exercising them properly which can mean people soon give up on them. Any exercise you would do In the gym you have a visual picture of what you should be doing but with your pelvic floor muscles you don’t have that same image. You can solve this problem by using Kegel8 Vaginal Cones, they have a indicator tail that lowers when you are exercising the muscles correctly.

Another option is to enlist the help of a personal trainer, but not your usual gym instructor type but instead a Kegel8 trainer. The Kegel8 Trainer is your own private personal trainer in the comfort of your own home when it comes to pelvic floor exercises; the on-screen display shows you when you are squeezing the right muscles, and how effectively too! It even measures the strength of your pelvic floor muscles with its unique Squeeze Scale™ so you can measure your results and see the progress you are making!

For some the damage that has been done to their pelvic floor is too much and manual Kegel exercises just won’t be effective as they no longer able to contract them enough to exercise them. If this is you then don’t despair, there is still a solution. Electronic pelvic toners directly stimulate the pelvic floor muscles to encourage strengthening of your muscles so you can be sure that your pelvic muscles are getting the thorough workout they need.

We all need to feel confident and comfortable in order to be ourselves and go out and enjoy life but the problems that come with a weak pelvic floor are enough to put a dent in your confidence. Problems with your pelvic floor are likely if you don't act but you don't have to accept them, make sure you do your exercises and they will never have to be a worry for you.

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