Are You Taking Proper Care Of Your Pelvic Floor?

This video discusses issues regarding the pelvic floor, your sexual health and experience, and everything in between!

Are You Taking Proper Care Of Your Pelvic Floor?

Are You Taking Proper Care Of Your Pelvic Floor?

Are You Taking Proper Care Of Your Pelvic Floor?

3 minute read

An unhealthy pelvic floor could be the culprit of a number of issues: pain during sex, loss of urinary or bowel control, weak orgasms, etc. But all these things can be helped by strengthening or relaxing the pelvic floor

In this stream, pelvic floor physical therapist Dr. Uchenna Ossai, aka Dr. UC, tells us how to take proper care of the pelvic floor. 

The pelvic floor is the group of muscles at the bottom of the pelvis. These muscles provide stabilization for your spine and hold in your organs — the bladder, uterus (for those with a vagina), prostate (for those with a penis), and rectum. It also controls “pooping, sexy time, babies, and peeing,” says Dr. UC.  Pelvic floor dysfunction just means the pelvic floor isn’t doing what it’s meant to do. To fix it, you might need surgery, acupuncture, yoga, and/ or physical therapy. Before starting a healing plan, however, It’s important to first identify the issue. If you can’t achieve orgasm when aroused, for example, that might be an indication your pelvic floor is too tight or loose. If you’re experiencing urinary incontinence, this may mean the pelvic floor is weakened. Pain during sex or constipation may mean you’re too tight. It’s important to talk to a physical therapist or doctor who can help you create a pelvic floor exercise routine tailored to your specific issue. 

To stop some pelvic floor issues before they happen, you can work to strengthen the pelvic floor by doing kegels. Dr. US recommends starting by laying on your back with knees bent. If you have a penis, “imagine you’re pulling your penis into your bod,  almost like a turtle’s head coming into its shell,” says Dr. UC. “And at the same time, your anus is tightening so you're gonna feel it like a pulling and lifting up and then you're gonna relax it.” Then roll on your side, sitting, standing and repeat. Find the position that feels best for you. 

If you have a vagina, “squeeze the anus, vagina, urethra, [and] you're gonna pull it up towards your head, almost like you're picking up a napkin with the vagina, anus and urethra,” says Dr. UC. “Play with your positioning —  so if you are sitting, just lean forward at your hips [...] so your back is bone straight, and you're just hinging forward, right and then do a kegel here [...] then you're gonna sit lean all the way back and do it here. And you should feel it posteriorly at the anus. If you're sitting upright, you're gonna feel it more centrally in the vagina.” Maintain your pelvic floor health by working this kind of strength training into your regular exercise routine. 

In the end, you just want to be sure your pelvic floor is healthy enough to function — you don’t need your vagina to be able to lift weights, for instance. And while strengthening or relaxing the pelvic floor can help many issues, it’s not always the entire solution. A strong pelvic floor in no way guarantees orgasms, for example. There could be a number of other factors contributing to the problem. Know that every person is different, so the way you approach your pelvic floor issue is personal and can be worked out with a doctor or physical therapist.

Dr. Uchenna Ossai

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Dr. Ossai (aka Dr. UC) is a board certified pelvic health physical therapist and founder of YouSeeLogic. She is also an assistant professor and manages the pelvic health physical therapy program in Dell Medical School at the University of Texas Austin. She is a certified sex counselor through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work’s Sexual Health Certification program. Her clinical and research work focuses on pelvic floor dysfunction for marginalized communities, particularly women of color and the LGBTQIA community.

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