What Does The Pelvic Floor Mean?

The pelvic floor is a grouping of muscles and tissues located in the pelvic and supports the bladder. These muscles function together to control urination, bowel movements, sexual function, and childbirth. We will discuss the anatomy and functioning of the pelvic floor.

Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor has many layers, including connective tissues and muscles. The pelvic floor’s muscles are divided into two distinct groups: the muscles with the most superficial and the muscles with the deepest.

The superficial muscles of the pelvic floor are the bulbocavernosus, ischiocavernosus, and transverse perineal musculature. These muscles are found at the bottom and support the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the vagina.

The levator and coccygeus deep muscles make up the pelvic flooring. The main support muscle for the pelvic organs is the levator ani muscles. It can be broken down into three parts: the puborectalis, the pubococcygeus, or the iliococcygeus. These muscles attach to the pubic bones and the coccyx. This creates a sling-like structure that supports the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

Functions of the Pelvic Floor

Many bodily functions are influenced by the pelvic floor, such as

Urinary control

The pelvic muscles control the bladder & bowel. They contract & relax to ensure proper elimination. Incontinence can result in urinary and fecal issues that greatly impact your quality of life.

Sexual Function

The pelvic muscles are also essential for sexual function. These muscles can be damaged or weakened after childbirth, and this could cause sexual dysfunction.

Childbirth

The pelvic muscles support the baby and the uterus during pregnancy. These muscles can be stretched to support the growing fetus and then contract during labor to push the baby through the birth canal. Incontinence, prolapsed pelvic organs, and urinary or fecal incontinence can result from injury to the pelvic area muscles during childbirth.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to several conditions affecting the muscles, nerves, ligaments, or pelvic floor. Common pelvic problems include incontinence and fecal issues, prolapse of the pelvic organs, and pain.

You can have pelvic floor problems due to several factors. You may notice the following symptoms in your pelvic floor:

  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Difficulty emptying or bowel
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

Treatments available for pelvic dysfunction include Kegel exercise, biofeedback therapy, or surgery.

Maintaining Pelvic Floor Health

Maintaining good pelvic health is key to preventing pelvic dysfunction and improving the quality of your life. Here are some tips that will help you maintain your pelvic floor health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight and obese can strain the pelvic floor muscles, increasing your risk of pelvic dysfunction.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking a lot of water can keep your bladder and bowel working properly, which could reduce the risk of having a pelvic floor problem.

Practice Proper Posture

Proper posture helps reduce strain in the pelvic floor muscles. This is especially true for activities that require lifting or bending.

Avoid Constipation

Constipation may put additional strain on the pelvic floor muscles. This can eventually lead to weakness or permanent damage. A high-fiber diet, regular exercise, and staying hydrated are all ways to avoid constipation.

Seek Medical Attention

If you notice symptoms of pelvic flooring dysfunction, you should consult to LMA immediately. Your healthcare provider can evaluate your symptoms and then recommend treatment options.

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