ARE YOU PELVIC FLOOR SAVVY?

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There is a lot of pressure on us women to look a certain way and maintain a body beautiful but there are some things we really all should be doing – not for vanity or keeping up with social standards set by advertising companies, but for our health, and to save us all from the fate of lady nappies….

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This information comes courtesy of the NHS…

Know Your Pelvic Floor…

The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscle and ligaments that stretch from the pubic bone to the end of the backbone (coccix) and from side to side. Firm, supportive pelvic floor muscles help support the bladder, womb and bowel, and to close the bladder outlet and back passage.

How Does The Pelvic Floor Work?

The muscles of the pelvic flook are kept firm and slightly tense to stop leakage of urine from the bladder and wind or faeces from the bowel. When you pass water or have a bowel motion the pelvic oor muscles relax. Afterwards, they tighten again to restore control. The muscles actively squeeze when you laugh, cough, lift or sneeze to help prevent any leakage. They also have an important sexual function, helping to increase sexual awareness for both yourself and your partner during intercourse.

How Does Exercising The Muscles Help?

Exercising the pelvic oor muscles can strengthen them so they give the correct support. This will improve your bladder control and improve or stop leakage of urine. Like any other muscles in the body, the more you use and exercise them, the stronger the pelvic oor muscles will be.

Finding Them!

Not as easy as you think actually – exercising these muscles should not show at all from the outside and you shouldn’t squeeze your tummy muscles too much.. here is what to do…

1. Sit comfortably with your knees slightly apart. Now imagine that you are trying to stop yourself passing wind from the bowel. To do this you must squeeze the muscles around the back passage. Try squeezing and lifting that muscle as if you really do have wind. You should be able to feel the muscle move. Your buttocks and legs should not move at all. You should be aware of the skin around the back passage tightening and being pulled up and away from your chair. Really try to feel this squeezing and lifting.

2. Now imagine you are sitting on the toilet passing urine. Picture yourself trying to stop the stream of urine. You should be using the same group of muscles that you used before, but don’t be surprised if you nd this harder. (Do not try to stop the stream when you are actually passing water as this may – if repeated – cause problems with correct emptying).

3. Now try to tighten the muscles around your back passage, vagina and front passage and lift up inside as if trying to stop passing wind and urine at the same time. It is very easy to bring other incorrect muscles into play, so try to isolate your pelvic oor as much as possible by not squeezing your legs together, not tightening your buttocks and not holding your breath. The lower tummy can very gently be drawn in as if pulling away from the zip of tight trousers. In this way most of the effort should be coming from the pelvic oor muscles.

Practice…

The trick is to do this as often as you can and the key is remembering! Set an alarm on your phone or try and associate it with something you already do everyday – like sitting at traffic lights – if you do it a few times you will hopefully form a habit. It is worth it in the long run and especially if you have had kids.

Don’t forget to share and pass it on ladies!

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